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Beware Of Dangers Of Cooking Fires On Thanksgiving, Norwalk

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FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Fairfield County residents are being reminded to keep fire safety in mind when preparing meals this Thanksgiving holiday season, said the Commission on Fire Prevention and Control in the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

“Thanksgiving is a day for family and friends to gather and give grace. Unfortunately, it is also the peak day for home cooking fires,” said DESPP Commissioner Dora B. Schriro. “I ask everyone to be conscious of fire safety and to use caution as you prepare and serve your special holiday meal this Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season.”

State Fire Administrator Jeff Morrissette agreed.

“November signals a time of increased cooking fires, with Thanksgiving having roughly three times the average number of any other day,” he said.  “Recognizing the risk can greatly reduce the chance of a home cooking fire.”

To reduce the risk of cooking fires and related hazards this holiday season, DESPP recommends the following safety tips:

  • Keep anything that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels and curtains away from the stovetop.
  • Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food.  If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • When simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you how long food should cook.
  • Stay alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire:

  • Get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 immediately after you leave.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out, you have a clear path out of the home, and someone has called the fire department.
  • Keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop.  Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • To contain and extinguish an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

DESPP also discourages the use of turkey fryers, a popular cooking method on Thanksgiving. Turkey fryers can lead to both severe burns and other injuries and the destruction of property because they use a large amount of oil that is heated to a high temperature.

DESPP urges those who prefer fried turkey to look for grocery stores, specialty food retailers and restaurants that sell deep fried turkeys.

To learn more about the potential dangers of turkey fryers go to the National Fire Prevention Association’s cooking equipment safety webpage .

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