PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles Fire and Emergency Services Department is urging the community to observe a safe and fire-free holiday season. Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires with more than three times the daily average for such incidents. Christmas Day and Christmas Eve ranked second and third, with both having nearly twice the daily average according to the National Fire Prevention Association. To keep your home, friends, and family safe, follow these tips.
In the Kitchen:
- Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths. Please stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop.
- Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot, and kids should stay three feet away.
- Keep potholders and food wrappers away from heat sources in the kitchen.
- Avoid loose clothing and short sleeves when cooking.
- Turn pot and pan handles inward on the stove, to avoid accidents.
- Turn off stoves, ovens, and kitchen appliances when finished using them.
- The use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers used in cooking turkey in hot oil can lead to devastating burns, and other injuries, and can destroy your home.
- Follow the instructions for your turkey fryer, especially the safety recommendations. Learn how to safely use your specific model of turkey fryer.
- Place the fryer in a safe location, never indoors, and away from flammable materials and structures. Avoid using the deep fryer in the garage or on decks made of wood.
- Use good quality oil with a high smoke point and follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for the minimum amount of oil.
- There’s always the chance of a fire. Keep a fire extinguisher with a Class B rating nearby.
- Make sure that the turkey is completely thawed before lowering it into the oil. A frozen turkey can cause more splattering because of pockets of ice in the turkey cavity. When the ice melts, the water will boil violently, causing a dangerous splatter situation.
- Protect yourself with the proper clothing; heat-resistant gloves, closed-toe shoes, and long sleeves are needed to protect from splatters, and wear safety glasses.
Most importantly please make sure smoke detectors are working before starting your holiday cooking. Test them by pushing the ‘test button.’
The Paso Robles Fire and Emergency Services wishes the community a memorable Thanksgiving and requests a common sense, safe celebration.