Fire organizations urge people to stop frying turkeys

TOPEKA, Kansas – With Thanksgiving upon us, away many can’t wait to feast on the centerpiece of the meal, the turkey.

But that bird contributes to making the holiday one of the most dangerous of the year.

Nearly 4,300 fires on Thanksgiving in 2014. There were 15 deaths and almost $27 million in property damage. That’s why the National Fire Protection Association wants you to be safe Thursday.

According to the NFPA, home cooking fires peak on major holidays especially Thanksgiving.

And Kansas has seen its fair share. A quarter of all fires reported in Kansas last year were in the home, three people were killed, 28 people were injured and $4 million in damage was done.

“They’re in the oven for a long time, people will leave them unattended,” says Kansas Fire Marshal Public Information Manager Kevin Doel. “Let’s say your turkey catches on fire, just accept the fact that that turkey is going to be ruined. Don’t open the door to your oven, because all that will do is feed the fire with more oxygen and make the fire worse.”

The NFPA says:

  • In 2009 to 2013 cooking equipment was involved in about half of all reported home fires.
  • One of every 6 home fire deaths.
  • Range and stovetops account for 61 percent of them.
fire-graphic

State and national fire organizations would really like to see people stop using gas turkey fryers.

“If you do have a fire and you are not going to be able to safely fight that fire with a fire extinguisher get out of the house your safety is the most important thing,” says Doel.

Safety organizations urge those who prefer deep-fried turkey to leave the frying to the experts. Just buy the bird from a restaurant or the grocery story.

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