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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Ocala firefighters offer safety tips to avoid fires while cooking Thanksgiving meals

Ocala firefighters are reminding residents to take extra precautions when preparing their Thanksgiving meals this year, as the holiday is the peak time for home cooking fires.

Below are some recommended cooking safety tips from Ocala Fire Rescue to help ensure that each resident’s Thanksgiving meal is delicious and safe:

  • Make your cooking area safe. Remove things that can burn from the stove. Turn pot handles toward the back so that they can’t be bumped.
  • Watch what you are cooking. Use a timer when roasting a turkey or baking pies.
  • Be prepared. Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet handy in case you need to smother a pan fire.
  • Stay awake and alert while cooking. If you see smoke or the grease starts to boil in your pan, turn the burner off.
  • Prevent burns. Wear short sleeves when you cook or roll up your long sleeves. Do not lean over the burners. Use potholders and oven mitts to handle hot cookware.

In addition, keep your safety in mind if you opt for deep-frying your turkey. While deep-frying turkeys has become popular in recent years, this cooking method has many risks that include contact burns, tip-overs/hot cooking oil spills, and fires, among others.

If you deep-fry a turkey, place the fryer outside on a flat surface that can’t burn, such as cement. Place the fryer several feet from anything that can catch fire, and don’t let children or pets come anywhere near it.

An adult should watch the fryer while it cooks. Use a fryer with thermostat controls. Without these controls, the oil can heat to the point of catching fire.

Thaw the turkey completely before cooking it so that ice crystals won’t splatter the hot oil. Use potholders and oven mitts when handling the turkey.

“There’s nothing more satisfying than cooking a good meal for the people we love,” stated Ocala Fire Rescue in a media release. “Make safety a priority in your kitchen at Thanksgiving and all year long.”

For additional fire safety and burn prevention information, follow Ocala Fire Rescue on Facebook.