El Paso Fire Department Urges Citizens to Stay Safe during the Holidays

During Thanksgiving the kitchen becomes one of the busiest places in your home. Did you know that Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment? In 2012, the El Paso Fire Department responded to 191 cooking fires with five of the occurring during Thanksgiving weekend. In 2012, the month of November accounted for the most kitchen fires with 29 incidents.
 
The El Paso Fire Department would like to wish everyone a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving. Please help us share the following safety tips with the public:
 
Thanksgiving Safety Tips:

Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.

Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.

Keep children at least 3 feet away from the stove.

Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.

Keep the floor clean to avoid trips and falls.

Keep knives out of the reach of children.

Be sure electric cords are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.

Keep matches and utility lighters out of reach of children – up high in a locket cabinet.

Never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle.

Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains – away from your stovetop.

Always look inside your stove before you turn it on. Very often kids small children may hide their toys or other items inside your stove.

If You Have A Cooking Fire:

Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop.

Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

Never pour water on a cooking pan grease fire.

Never discharge a portable fire extinguisher directly into a cooking pan grease fire because it will spread the fire.

In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed until it cool. After a fire the oven should be checked and/or serviced before using again.

When in doubt, just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.

Call 9-1-1 from a safe location after you leave.

If you know how to use a portable fire extinguisher and decide to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and that you have a clear path to the way out. Call 9-1-1 from outside the home.

Turkey Fryers

Frying a turkey for Thanksgiving has become increasing popular, but the potential of devastating burns, other injuries and destruction of property still exists. The El Paso Fire Department does not recommend the use of gas-fuled turkey fryers but if you plan on frying a turkey this Thanksgiving please consider the following:

Dry Before You Fry – A frozen turkey should never be placed directly into hot oil. Thaw your turkey for 24 to 48 hours prior to placing in a fryer. Water can cause the oil to bubble up and spill over. Getting the proper turkey size for the fryer is also important. Read the instruction manual carefully and never get a turkey that is larger than the recommended size.

Oil at 350 Degrees Is Dangerous – In deep frying, oil is heated to temperatures of 350 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Cooking oil is combustible and if it is heated beyond its cooking temperature, its vapors can ignite. To avoid a spillover, do not overfill the fryer. Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use. Oil inside a cooking pot can remain dangerously hot, hours after use.

Always Cook Outside – It is important to keep the fryer under constant supervision to prevent fires. Always cook outside, making sure to stay off any wooden decks or structures (with plenty of space away from them).

Please be safe this holiday season. For more safety information visit www.EPFire.org or contact the Fire Prevention Division at
(915) 485-5699.

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