We have a pretty casual Thanksgiving in our house. We cook, we visit with family, we eat, and we relax. But part of what makes our Thanksgiving relaxing is that we do take the time to make sure we’re keeping it a safe day as well.

Thanksgiving is actually the day of the year with the largest number of kitchen fires. The majority of those are caused by food left cooking unattended in the kitchen. Another Thanksgiving cooking hazard is the use of deep fryers.

So here’s some safety tips to keep Thanksgiving safe and relaxing:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you’re cooking, keep an eye on what’s on the stove
  • Don’t leave the oven unattended if it’s on. Check on your turkey frequently.
  • Keep little kids out of the kitchen when cooking. It can be distracting enough when cooking a large meal.
  • If you’re deep frying a turkey follow all the safety instructions to prevent injuries
  • If you’re deep frying a turkey make sure it is fully thawed, more on that further down in this post.
  • If you’re using candles make sure they are out of reach of younger children and not too close to other decorations.
  • Check your smoke detectors to make sure they work. Perhaps take a peek at my Fall Back 2017 post on things to check, consider, and change.

Appliance and turkey fryer fires can be common on Thanksgiving. If you’re deep frying a turkey please do so outside on a solid surface, like your driveway or yard. Do not overfill the fryer witih oil and make sure to keep kids and pets away from it. Your turkey must be fully thawed, a frozen or partially frozen turkey can cause an explosion when the frozen water in the turkey makes contact with the hot oil. The water is heavier than the oil and sinks, but the water is also expanding as it is heated – causing the hot oil to overflow and flame.

Here’s a video from the National Fire Protection Association demonstrating what happens when you try to fry a frozen turkey.

Deep frying a turkey can be dangerous if done incorrectly. Fryers can get very hot and their stands aren’t very stable. Because of this they do not carry a UL label.

As you plan your meal and day, consider these safety tips to keep your Thanksgiving safe.

For more info on Thanksgiving Safety you can check out the National Fire Protection Association Thanksgiving Safety page and the US Fire Administration’s cooking safety page.

Happy Safe Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Safety Tips
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