Cook safely, and have a happy Thanksgiving!

The Seattle Fire Department reminds residents to be safe while cooking and gathering this holiday season. Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking-related fires. Other holiday-related home fires involve heating and electrical sources.

Before starting your holiday cooking, be sure to test your smoke alarms by pushing the “test” button.

Cooking Safety Tips

  • Check on food regularly while cooking – unattended cooking is the number one cause of home fires.
  • Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away for the stove.
  • Involve children in preparing foods that are not hot.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children or up high in a locked cabinet.
  • If a fire starts on the stove top, cover it with a lid or metal cookie sheet and turn the stove off. Do not throw water on a grease fire.
  • Remove flammables such as towels, oven mitts and food packaging away from the stove top.
  • Leave turkey frying to the professionals, as large quantities of hot cooking oil pose a significant fire and serious burn risk.
    • If you still plan to deep fry a turkey, then here are a few safety tips to consider:
      • Turkey must be completely thawed and dry. Excess water in contact with hot grease can cause a boil-over fire.
      • At least two people should be involved in this process.
      • Setup your deep fryer outside and at least 10 feet away from your home. Do not use a covered space such as a garage or awning.
      • If it’s raining or snowing, consider it a NO-GO! Remember, water in contact with hot grease can cause a boil-over fire.
      • Purpose-built turkey frying kits often provide indicators for how much oil to use.
      • If you are using a regular pot, then a method of measuring how much grease to use is to set the turkey in the cool pot and add water until it is completely submerged. Then remove the turkey. The remaining water line is a measurement for how much oil to use. Remember to dry the turkey!
      • Turn off the burner before lowering and raising the turkey from the fryer.
      • Use a broom stick and metal hook to slowly lower the turkey into the hot oil. This prevents hot oil from splashing directly onto you. Use the same technique to slowly raise and drain the turkey once it’s cooked.
      • It takes approximately three minutes per pound to cook a turkey in peanut oil at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
      • Do not leave the fryer unattended when heating