MISSION, Texas (KVEO) — Cooking fires in the kitchen are the number one cause of residential fires. As families celebrate Thanksgiving, there are some things to keep in mind.
Mission Fire says they want everyone to stay safe when cooking this holiday.
The first thing to remember is to pay attention to what you are cooking and never leave cooking food unattended. Make sure to keep towels, pot holders, and mitts away from the burner, and to not wear clothing with loose sleeves or a sweater.
If you do leave the room, turn off the heat and cover the food. Do not leave burners on once you remove a pot, and keep everything away from the edge of the stove.
“We don’t want to leave anything hanging, any kind of handle or stuff like that someone can easily bump, cause something to tip over. You know that can start a fire or cause an injury,” says Captain Richard Cruz, Mission Fire Department.
If you are considering frying a turkey, you want to make sure and do it in a large open area with nothing within five feet.
Turkey fryers can easily tip over, so it is recommended to use a level surface, and on concrete away from grass or vegetation.
Make sure the turkey is fully thawed, and don’t overfill the pot.
“An easy tip on how to calculate how much oil you need is to put the turkey in a dry pan and fill it up with water. Once you remove the turkey that will tell you how much oil you need,” says Captain Cruz.
Check the cooking temperature often because fryers can easily overheat, and use long cooking gloves because the pot lid and handles can cause burns.
If you do get a minor burn run it under cool water for three to five minutes, then apply a dry cloth. Cruz says a common misconception with a burn is to put ointment on it. This can cause a barrier and your body will retain the heat, causing skin damage in the long run.
Mission Fire also says for small grease fires, do not throw water on them and try using a metal pan or cooking sheet to cover it, reducing the oxygen to the fire.
If a fire were to break out, Mission Fire says don’t attempt to put the fire out yourself. Trying to put out a fire yourself can cause injury, and delay emergency response.
Mission Fire says evacuate immediately, making sure everyone is out safely and call 911.