PLATTSBURGH — For fires that involve cooking, Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for fire departments.
“At a time when families and friends should be enjoying the holiday, we often see tragedies unfold due to unsafe cooking practices,” Firemen’s Association of the State of New York President James Burns said in a news release.
The most common causes of cooking fires are unattended cooking, flammable objects near the cooking area, cooking equipment unintentionally turned on or not turned off, deep-frying turkeys and hot oil exposed to cold temperatures.
For those who prefer having a fried turkey on Thanksgiving, the association recommends buying one from a professional food provider.
The Plattsburgh City Fire Department follows the National Fire Protection Association’s guidelines when giving out safety advice, said City Fire Department Assistant Chief Randy Stone.
Among the tips are keeping matches and lighters out of the reach of children, for example in a locked cabinet situated high off the floor, according to the association.
Children should be kept away from hot foods because if they spill, they can cause burns, the Fire Protection Association said. The steam from food can also cause injuries.
It recommends that lit candles always be supervised by an adult.
NO WATER ON GREASE
Beekmantown Fire Chief David Perky said that beyond cooking fires, chimneys are a common cause of blazes at this time of year for his department.
“Make sure your chimney’s clean.”
In the event of a cooking fire, leave the building immediately, close the door to contain the fire and call 911, fire officials say.
If there is an oven fire, the door should be closed and the heat turned off.
It is not safe to put water on a grease fire, the Firemen’s Association said.
“Use an appropriate fire extinguisher or baking soda, salt or a tight lid.”
A box of baking soda should always be kept near stoves, it said.
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