Thanksgiving is a day off for most, but it's busy for firefighters

November 20, 2018 - 10:05 am
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Cooking is the leading cause of house fires, so it not a surprise to know Thanksgiving Day is one of the busiest of the year for fire departments around the country. 

One reason for the uptick in fires is the simple fact that more people are using their stoves more than on other days. With people coming over, the football games on television and the sheer volume of food being prepared, there are plenty of distractions that can lead to fires.

The most important safety tip is to keep an eye on everything that is being cooked, said Jason Rhodes, Overland Park Fire Department spokesman.

"Leaving that cooking unattended, that's when we see the most trouble start," Rhodes said. "Remain in the kitchen when you're doing your cooking."

Rule number two, Rhodes said, is don't panic if a fire starts.

If a grease fire starts, smother it with a pan lid. Do not try to move the burning pan and NEVER put water on a grease fire.

Safety experts say people should never fry a turkey inside the house. Do it outside, away from combustible materials and follow the instructions carefully, being careful to maintain the oil at a safe temperature. Also, make sure the turkey is completely thawed and patted dry before inserting it.

If a fire starts in the oven, keep the door closed and turn off the heat. The oven box is designed to contain high temperatures.

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