Every November, social media and TV newscasts light up with a dramatic genre of video clip: The overflowing fried turkey.

Firefighters are seen gathering around a bubbling pot of hot oil and, often by a pulley of some sort, dropping a plump frozen turkey into the pot.

Fwoosh! Oil spills over the sides and bursts into a massive fireball.

It’s a frightening, jaw-dropping scene and one intended to send a clear message to viewers: Do not try this at home.

Of course, as the comment sections tend to point out, there are safe ways of making a fried turkey — with the proper amount of oil in the pot — without setting off a napalm-like blast of flames.

But the lesson still stands, cooking can be a dangerous task in the best of times, and even more so in a crowded kitchen with kids and pets racing around among all the commotion.

So let this be a slightly less dramatic reminder to just be careful in the kitchen this holiday season.

We’ve likely all heard tragic stories of children and even adults receiving gruesome injuries from hot oil or other kitchen accidents. No one wants that dimming the day.

And, just as often, the holidays can be a dreaded time for fire departments around the country as the day’s festivities make fires even more likely.

Kevin Coffey, regional CEO for the American Red Cross for the Eastern New York Region, made this point in a press release.

“Home fires are a real threat over the holidays and represent most of our disaster responses in our region,” Coffey said.

“Help keep your family safe by always keeping an eye on what you fry, testing your smoke alarms monthly and practicing your two-minute escape plan with everyone in your household.”

Other holiday safety tips that the Red Cross offered include:

• Never leave cooking food unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.

• Move items that can burn away from the stove. This includes dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper and curtains. Also keep children and pets at least three feet away.

• Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.

• When frying food, turn the burner off if you see smoke or if the grease starts to boil. Carefully remove the pan from the burner.

• Keep a pan lid or a cookie sheet nearby. Use it to cover the pan if it catches fire. This will put out the fire. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

Stay safe and eat well, North Country.

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