Tips on staying safe while cooking for Thanksgiving

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - When you think of Thanksgiving, you don't associate the holiday with danger, but it can happen. News Leader Nine shows you how you can enjoy the holiday and stay safe at the same time.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, approximately 2,000 homes will catch fire during Thanksgiving. Local emergency rooms will also see more patients all because people aren't being safe while cooking.

Deep fried turkey, some people will pay big bucks just to have one of these sitting on their dining room table, but others try to tackle the bird themselves.

"When you cook it, you want to be outside, you don't want it on a deck or anything that can catch fire, you want to have it on a level surface," Columbus Fire Marshal Thomas Streeter told News Leader Nine.

Consumers have more options when it comes to frying a turkey at home. General Manager of Masterbuilt, Jeff Johnson said there's the electric model, "It's the safest turkey fryer on the market. You get your oil to 375 degrees and you drop the turkey in. You can do it outside or inside."

Or Johnson says there is the more traditional outdoor deep fryer, "You have to use it outdoors, it's a very safe unit if you do it correctly. You want to de-thaw your turkey, have it at room temperature and have the turkey dried off before you put it in."

If you don't take these precautions you could be putting out a fire.

"It's a grease fire so you need an ABC fire extinguisher close by and is nothing else, baking soda or flour," said Chief Streeter.

Even if you don't follow the directions perfectly, there is a mechanism to make sure fires don't start.

Johnson explained, "We came out with a safety device where if someone does walk away this unit will shut off in 15 minutes."

But if something goes wrong and you end up with a burn, either head to the emergency room or take care of the injury at home.

Trauma Coordinator at the Columbus Medical center, Lauren Kubik RNC told News Leader Nine, "It's your discretion, depending on how bad you think it is. If it forms a blister we recommend you coming to the emergency room. There are a lot of home remedies like rubbing aloe on your skin. The main thing is to cool the skin even if you use a cool washcloth or cool water. You just want to stop the burning process."

If you are frying a turkey yourself, staying safe is as simple as following the directions. And if there is an emergency you can't handle, whether it's burns or a fire, always call 911.

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