Officials serve up fire safety tips ahead of Thanksgiving dinner

KSEE24 News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – This Thanksgiving, friends and family will gather for lots of good food and good times, but those large gatherings and cooking come with an increased risk of starting fires.

Thanksgiving is the number one day for cooking-related fires and one of the peak days for structure fires in general.

Not only is there a lot of cooking going on, but also candles and fireplaces will be lit in homes across the city.

The Fresno Fire Department gave a first-hand display of how some Thanksgiving cooking experiments are better left to the imagination, showing how quickly incorrectly deep-frying a turkey can cause flames to erupt in homes.

“A lot of folks may have seen people deep fry a turkey on television or on the internet and think it sounds like a good idea, but if you’re not familiar with the cooking set up, and if you haven’t done it before, unfortunately, we do see folks have a lot of accidents,” said Lopez.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, there are roughly 2000 structure fires related to cooking every year on thanksgiving; the most of any other day of the year.

Lopez says one of the best ways to avoid a cooking fire is to never leave food on a burner unattended.

“Additionally, they want to make sure to keep anything that’s flammable well away from any cooking surface or open flame,” explained Johnathan Lopez with the Fresno Fire Department.

If you have an oven fire, Lopez says the best thing to do is close the oven door and keep it contained in the oven.

If you happen to have a grease fire on top of the stove, Lopez says to cover it with a lid to a pot if you can.

“Whatever you do, do not use water on that fire, it will only make it worse,” Lopez warned.

Another quick tip is to make sure pot handles are always turned to the back of the stove so they don’t get knocked over.

If there is a large fire in your home, evacuate everyone inside and call 911.

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