Local fire department offers Thanksgiving fire safety tips

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Topeka Fire Department wants to remind everyone to have a safe and happy holiday.

Often when the fire department is called to a cooking-related fire, the resident states they only left the kitchen for a few minutes and, according to TFD, that is all the time it takes for a dangerous fire to occur.

TFD says there is really no safe period of time for the cook to step away from a hot stove.

The Topeka Fire Department offers a few key safety points to remember:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave the room even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • When you are baking or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you.
  • Keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles (e.g. potholders, towels, rags, drapes and food packaging).
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of three (3) feet around the stove.
  • If you have a fire in your microwave, turn it off immediately and keep the door closed.  Never open the door until the fire is completely out. If in doubt, get out of the home and call the fire department.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and a properly fitting lid nearby. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan (make sure you are wearing the oven mitt). To keep the fire from restarting turn off the burner, do not move the pan, never pour water on a grease fire, and do not remove the lid until it is completely cool to the touch.  If the fire does not go out immediately, get out of the home and call the fire department.
  • If an oven fire starts, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. If the fire does not go out immediately get out of the home and call the fire department.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids.  The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee can cause serious burns
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children
  • Never leave a child alone in a room with a lit candle
  • Make sure your smoke alarm is working by testing it monthly

Gas Fired Turkey Fryer Safety

  • Place the turkey fryer on a level surface, in an open area away from homes, fences, sheds and other structures.
  • Never place the fryer on a wooden deck, garage or carport
  • Leave at least two feet between the fryer and the propane tank
  • Keep the fryer in full view at all times
  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer
  • Check oil temperature often.  If you see smoke coming from the oil immediately turn of the gas.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dry before frying.  A partially frozen or wet turkey can cause the splatter and overflow causing a fire.
  • If the fryer catches fire call 911 immediately, do not use water to try to put the fire out.

“A cooking fire can quickly turn deadly. Far too many homes have been destroyed and people injured, or killed, by fires that could have been easily avoided. Please heed these simple safety rules.

TFD said if you do not have working smoke alarms in your residence, contact “Your” Topeka Fire Department, 368-4000 for information on how to have one installed free.

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