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Thanksgiving cooking safety tips from FASNY

Posted 11/21/22

The combination of cooler weather and more home cooking associated with the Thanksgiving holiday often lead to an increase in home cooking fires, according to FASNY.

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Thanksgiving cooking safety tips from FASNY

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The combination of cooler weather and more home cooking associated with the Thanksgiving holiday often lead to an increase in home cooking fires, according to the Firefighters Association of the State of New York.

There have been 118 home fire fatalities across the state so far this year, officials said, compared to only 85 by this same time last year. To help prevent such dangerous fires, FASNY has a list of tips and advice.

“Our state’s volunteer firefighters hope that all New Yorkers have a safe and happy holiday,” said FASNY President Edward Tase, Jr.

“When preparing your Thanksgiving feast and other upcoming holiday meals, remember to take important safety precautions, such as not leaving your cooking unattended. Unattended cooking is a leading cause of home fires that can easily be prevented.”

According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires, with 1,630 breaking out in 2018 — 250% above the daily average. The second highest day for home cooking fires was Christmas Day, with 740 incidents. Following safe cooking practices this holiday will ensure an accident or a preventable fire does not occur, officials said.

One safety risk often taken on Thanksgiving is deep-frying turkeys. Officials said it is extremely dangerous to deep-fry a turkey, and can lead to serious burns and property damage. It is integral that the turkey is completely thawed before frying and that the cooking occurs outside and away from flammable objects. 

Thanksgiving safety tips:

• Remain in the kitchen while cooking. Whether you’re frying, grilling, baking or broiling food, it’s always a good idea to supervise cooking directly.

• Most cooking fires involve the stovetop, so keep anything that can catch fire away from it, and turn off the stove when you leave the kitchen, even if it’s for only a few seconds.

• If you’re simmering, boiling, baking or roasting food, check it regularly and use a timer to remind yourself that you’re cooking.

• For homes with children, have the kids remain outside the kitchen area while food is being prepared. Pets should also be kept out of the kitchen while cooking.

• Make sure your smoke detectors are functioning by pressing the test button. If needed, replace the batteries — and if not functioning after testing, install brand-new smoke alarms. If you have smoke alarms with sealed-in batteries that do not function when tested, replace the entire unit.

• Clothing catching on fire leads to approximately 16% of home cooking fire deaths. It is important to wear short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves because loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners or gas flames and catch fire.

• Keep the cooking area clean and combustible materials away from your stove top. Built-up grease, oven mitts, food packaging, wooden utensils, towels, curtains and other materials on or near the stove can catch fire.

• If you are deep-frying your turkey, only use the turkey fryer outdoors on a sturdy, level surface that is well away from anything that can burn. Do not overfill the pot with oil, because it could overflow when the turkey is placed inside. Test how much oil is needed by using water first. A partially frozen turkey will cause hot oil to splatter. Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before you fry it. Check the temperature of the fryer often to avoid overheating.

• The pot, lid, and handles of a turkey fryer can get dangerously hot and cause burn injuries. Use long, insulated cooking gloves that protect hands and arms when you handle these items.

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