Careful with that fryer

Published 8:35 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Suffolk Fire Marshal’s office is taking the time this holiday to remind residents how they can keep this Thanksgiving a happy one by staying fire-free.

According to Chris Cornwell, an assistant fire marshal, folks who are deep-frying their turkeys should take common precautions to ensure the turkey is the only thing that gets fried.

“They can be dangerous if not used properly,” Cornwell said of turkey fryers. “Be sure that you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when utilizing those.”

Email newsletter signup

Cornwell added that turkey fryers should not be overfilled with oil, and they should never be used inside or on a porch or deck.

Other cooking precautions for Thanksgiving are the same ones that apply year-round. Cooking food should never be left unattended, but having too many cooks in the kitchen — particularly small ones — can be dangerous, as well.

“When it comes to young children, keep your pot handles turned in,” Cornwell said. “They’re curious. They’re going to reach up and, if you give them the opportunity, pull down on that handle.”

Cooks also should ensure that combustible materials like paper towels and potholders don’t get near the stove. If a fire starts in a pan on the stove, cover it with the lid and turn off the heat source, Cornwell said.

One of the best appliances to have in the kitchen is a fire extinguisher, he added.

“It’s a great idea to have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, and somewhere where it’s readily accessible,” he said. “They’re the least frequently used device in the kitchen, which is a good thing, but it frequently gets pushed to the back corner under the sink.”

Having a fire extinguisher can mean the difference between a small fire causing little to no damage or being a major disaster, Cornwell added.

“You can get the fire put out while it’s still small,” he said.

Also, fall decorations involving leaves, straw and other dry organic materials can be dangerous if they are placed near a heat source. And those decorating for Christmas early should be careful, Cornwell added.

“As we lead into the holiday Christmas season, be mindful of combustible Christmas decorations,” he said.