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Firefighters warn Texans about leaving stoves, fryers and ovens unattended on Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 4:52 PM CST
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SALADO, Texas (KWTX) — Central Texas fire departments are warning families to be extra cautious in order to prevent cooking fires as they prepare Thanksgiving meals this year.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, the number of cooking fires is three times higher on Thanksgiving Day than on any other day of the year.

Safety experts say the leading cause of kitchen fires is unattended stoves, ovens, and fryers.

Salado Volunteer Fire Department spokesperson Bert Henry said cooks can limit stovetop fires by reducing the heat level to match the size of the pot or pan they’re cooking in. He also says families should not use water to extinguish grease fires.

“There is a class B fire extinguisher which is what you want in your home, especially in your kitchen,” Henry said. “It’s used to extinguish any type of a flammable liquid and you can get one at any hardware store.”

If you don’t have a fire extinguisher at home, he recommends you simply turn off the stove and use another pan or lid to cover the flames.

For those looking to fry their turkey instead, safety experts say there are extra precautions to be taken. First, you must make sure the turkey is completely thawed before frying, otherwise, the ice will cause a fiery explosion.

Henry recommends making sure the fryer is far away from any buildings or structures that could catch fire. He also says it’s important to make sure the pot is not too full of oil that may spill over and cause the fire to spread.

“Just take the turkey and put it in the pot,” Henry said. “Fill it up with water until it’s just a little bit above where the turkey is and mark it on the outside. That needs to be your oil level.”

Lastly, Henry said if any fire spreads to a structure, you must call 911 even if you’ve put the fire out yourself as there may still be flames inside walls that you can’t detect.

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