WFD: Thanksgiving Day is busiest day of year for home cooking fires

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — There may be even more cooks in the kitchen this Thanksgiving, with more people staying home because of the pandemic.

The Wilmington Fire Department his some tips and reminders for cooking safety, especially if you’re in charge of the turkey.

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WFD says it sees the most home cooking fires of the year on Thanksgiving Day. They say there are also a lot of bush or landscaping fires and garage fires from frying a turkey outside.

Firefighters say cooking fires are up in general right now, since more people are at home during the pandemic.

Firefighter Cody Holliday with the Wilmington Fire Department says the number one cause of Thanksgiving fires are turkey fryers. He says the number one rule when you fry a turkey is to not put a frozen turkey directly into the fryer.

Holliday shares some tips for how to properly fry your turkey.

“You’re gong to fit it into your pot,” he said. “Fill it up with water to measure the line you’re going to put your turkey into. that way, you don’t overfill it with oil. The number one cause of turkey fires is if the oil spills over and hits the flame and then it erupts in, essentially a fireball. You’re going to want to make sure when you put your turkey into the frying pot, you put it big hole up on the turkey. That way the oil doesn’t shoot out the top. Then make sure we keep an eye on it at all times.”

If you have kids or pets around, Holliday says you should make sure any pot or pan handles are out of reach.

If you’re a first-time cook this Thanksgiving, he encourages you to be extra cautious, and always keep an eye on things in the kitchen.

Find more fire safety tips and reminders here.