How to avoid thanksgiving cooking dangers and disasters

Local News

Just two days until Thanksgiving. As people are getting ready to prepare dinner and feed the family, we want to make you aware of a common cooking method that’s considered to be very dangerous.

That method is cooking a frozen turkey in a vat of hot oil. Sounds harmless, right? But, it may be more than just that turkey that gets roasted.

It could result in a house fire and it’s probably not how you’d want to spend Thanksgiving. The reality is, this cooking method results in a number of house fires and injuries every year around thanksgiving.

“If you put a frozen turkey in the oil, the frozen part, the water is vaporized,” Captain Bob Emmick of the Horseheads Fire Department, said. “It will create a violent eruption of the oil, which will burn. So it will cause a big fire.”

It’s also why firefighters say Thanksgiving is the busiest day for structure fires.

“Three to four times the average number of fires occur on Thanksgiving and mostly due to cooking on the stove,” Emmick said. “So even though we talk about turkey fryers being very dangerous, a lot of fires occur each year because of people cooking on the stove and leaving their cooking unattended.”

Insurance specialist Peter Wallin knows how that goes from an insurance claim he received a few years ago. A man was cooking while taking care of a child.

“He left the stove for just a minute to go check on the child to make sure the child was okay, Wallin said. “That one minute that he was gone from that stove, it was just a huge flame that popped up and started the fire.”

Homeowners and even renter’s insurance does cover fire damages, but you shouldn’t rely on it entirely. In fact it could end up costing you a whole lot more.

“Yes, insurance comes into play, but the time it takes to repair, rebuild and remodel a house after a damaging grease fire is extensive,” Wallin said. “The possibility that their rates could go up in the future because of a claim like a grease fire are very real.”

Emmick and Wallin said now is a great time to check your smoke alarms to see if they function.

If you do have a small cooking fire, shut off the heat source. If possible have a class-b fire extinguisher on stand by. Aim the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire, not at the flames. Never use water.

Baking soda also works.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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