Posted at 11:12 a.m.
Thanksgiving means many things to different people — perhaps a day off from work, the start of the holiday shopping season or a time to gather the family and friends and enjoy each others’ company, along with some good home cooking.
Our Fire and Rescue Department reports that Thanksgiving Day is the busiest day for the fire service. More property damage and lives are lost in residential structure fires on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year due to cooking fires.
For many, Thanksgiving means cooking a turkey. A poplular way to prepare the turkey is to deep fry it. But deep frying does present several safety concerns.
When placing the turkey into the oven or turkey fryer, be extremely careful.
- Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before it is placed in a fryer.
- Never use a fryer on a wooden deck, under a patio cover, in a garage or enclosed space.
- Fryers should always be used outdoors, on a solid level surface a safe distance from buildings and flammable materials.
- Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use or after use as the oil can remain hot for hours.
Check out this video to see what can happen if your cooker is overfilled, and for additional safety tips for deep frying to keep your holiday safe.
If having a fried turkey is a must for Thanksgiving, consider purchasing a fried, cooked turkey from a commercial source. Many supermarkets and restaurants accept orders for fried turkeys during the holiday season.
Here are more cooking safety tips:
- Always use cooking equipment tested and approved by a recognized testing facility.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying or grilling food. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch fire–potholders, towels, or curtains away from the stovetop.
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove.
- Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
- Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when cooking.
You also can visit the Fire and Rescue Department online for more fire and seasonal life safety tips.
Local nonprofits and shelters have been busy supplying residents in need with food, water and and other supplies that may have been lost during the June 29 derecho storm (and the resulting extended power loss) and recent heat wave. Loss of power at the shelters and increased demand for assistance has depleted many of the shelters’ reserves, and these food pantries are now turning to the community for help.
Fairfax County partner food pantries and nonprofits are accepting food and cash donations to help restock and supply our most vulnerable families with healthy meals. Those interested in donating should contact a local food pantry directly for more information on how to contribute.