Tips to make sure your Thanksgiving does not go up in flames this year

Thanksgiving Dinner 11RAPID CITY, S.D.– With Thanksgiving dinner preparations underway, the Rapid City Fire Department is reminding residents of safety tips to avoid disasters over the holiday. Lieutenant Shane Barrows shares some of the department’s advice.

How busy does it get for firefighters?

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the leading holiday for house fires involving cooking equipment. As such, the fire department always anticipates an increase in call volume when the holiday rolls around every year.

What are some of the most common pieces of advice when in the kitchen?

According to Barrows, many of the things he mentioned involved food or the cooking process:

  • Keep things and people away from the stovetop to avoid any injuries or fires
  • If cooking food in the kitchen, do not leave anything unattended

“And if you’re frying a turkey, make sure it’s outdoors,” he added. ”

Why is it important to fry the turkey outside?

Frying a turkey outside will prevent any kitchen or household items from catching fire if coming in contact with the hot oil and causing a serious disaster. Before the turkey goes into the oil, however, make sure it is completely thawed otherwise fire risk goes up. “It’ll react with that oil, causing it to overflow,” he explains. “And then that’s when you get your fires and that’s when we end up showing up.”

How far from my house should I be outside?

“You just want to make sure that you’re not close to anything flammable,” he explained. Avoid any parts of the outdoor space that are underneath an overhang or accessory that could catch fire.

If I do have a situation involving a fire, what should I do?

If dealing with a fire on the stovetop, Barrows says to turn the burner off right away and cover it with a lid to cool it down. For fires in an oven, the steps are similar. “Obviously shut the stove off and keep the door closed,” he explained. “Most of the time that’ll keep the fire from growing bigger.” For any serious fires or incidents, leave the area and contact the fire department right away.

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