The kitchen is often said to be the heart of the home, especially around the holidays. But preparing the turkey with all the fixin's can come with an increased danger of house fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and the day before Thanksgiving.

Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths. "Don't ever leave your cooking unattended," warned Jason Parks with Casper Fire-EMS. "Don't put something in the oven and leave the house and go away for a couple of hours and shop or whatever. Be home and attentive to the cooking."

The popular turkey fryers can be very dangerous, when used the wrong way. That includes using too much oil, or trying to fry a frozen turkey.

"It's an explosive experience when it happens, especially if it's frozen," said Parks. "Water and oil don't mix, especially if it's hot oil, and so it actually creates, the best thing I can relate it to is a volcanic effect." (see the video below).

The NFPS offers these safety tips to keep your Thanksgiving safe.

  • 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 three feet away from the stove, and away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Make sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.



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