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Thanksgiving: a time of thanks, and potential dangers

By Samantha Cortese, News Reporter, samantha.cortese@cbslocal2.com
Published On: Nov 21 2012 02:37:44 PM CST
Turkey Fryer Fire

State Farm YouTube

PALM DESERT, Calif. - -

Ahh, the holidays. It's a time for your favorite treats, a time to be thankful, and also -- potentially dangerous.

"Frying the turkey is kind of an adult thing," says Ebony Swancy of Palm Springs.

"We just stand around, fry it, and we're done. It makes it easier. Instead of staying up all night, worrying, baking my turkey, I'm done in an hour."

It may be easier, but fire officials are urging residents to take precautions to ensure safety in the kitchen this Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three
times more than any other day of the year, according to the National Fire
Protection Association.

FEMA's U.S. Fire Administration even advises against frying your bird this year.

"I would like to do it fried," says Cathedral City dad Barry Bias, "but I've heard too many horror stories about the oil spilling over, and I'd like to keep my house!"

Fire officials suggest these tips:

  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop;
  • Stay at home when cooking a turkey;
  • Keep children at least three feet away from the stove;
  • Keep pot and pan handles pointed inward on the stovetop to prevent
  • spills of hot food;
  • Don't let electric cords dangle off the counter within easy reach of
  • children;
  • Have an ABC-rated fire extinguisher readily available;
  • Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.

Also at risk over the holidays: your diet.

Some of us wait all day to get that first bite of Thanksgiving dinner, but that may not be the best way to enjoy your feast.

"It's hard because you're smelling the smells all morning and you're hungry, but then you want to kinda wait," admits Swancy. "You don't want to spoil your appetite."

Eating early and often throughout the day will keep your appetite steady, and prevent over-eating when the turkey hits the table.

More information on Thanksgiving safety, including how to properly
operate a turkey fryer, can be found at www.nfpa.org.

Follow Samantha on Twitter: @SamanthaCortese