MCFRS Offers Tips for Cooking Safely—Indoors or Out—on Thanksgiving

by Patrick Herron

Per Montgomery County:
Thanksgiving is mostly thought of as a day of celebration—and eating—with family members and friends. However, the holiday also brings some potential danger that comes with dividing attention between cooking and being social. Cooking-related fires happen more often on Thanksgiving Day in Montgomery County than on any other day of the year, according the County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS).Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Pete Piringer said it is important to cook with caution, especially at this time of the year when there are often a lot of people and activity in the home.

Here are some safety tips from MCFRS on how to have a safe holiday:

  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking so you can keep an eye on the food. (Most kitchen fires involve the stovetop.)
  • When leaving the kitchen, turn off the stove.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stovetop.
  • Keep children away from the hot stove—create a three-foot clearance zone.
  • Keep the floor clear so people do not trip over items.
  • Keep matches, lighters and knives out of the reach of children.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a room with a candle.
  • Make sure smoke alarms are working properly.
  • If a fire starts, get everyone out of the house and call 9-1-1.

Frying a turkey is an increasingly popular method to prepare the main fare of holiday dinners. However, cooking a tasty turkey in oil can also pose some dangers.

County Fire Marshal Rick Merck has safety tips for those who will be frying:

  • Make sure the turkey fryer is at least 10 feet away from the house and not under the edges of the roof.
  • Use the turkey fryer on a sturdy, level surface and do not move it once it is in use.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before frying it.
  • Determine the correct amount of oil needed by first placing the turkey in the pot with water.
  • Check the temperature often with a cooking thermometer so the oil will not overheat.
  • An adult should watch the fryer as the turkey is cooking.
  • Always use protective oven mitts.
  • Do not let children or pets come near the fryer.

For more fire safety resources and tips, visit the usfa.fema.gov website.

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