Don’t set your house on fire this Thanksgiving

State fire marshal, JFRD offers 8 tips to keep you and your family safe

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Don't let the holidays turn into a major loss.

That’s the message from Jacksonville Fire and Rescue and State Fire Marshal, Jimmy Patronis. Both are reminding families that the number one day for cooking fires is Thanksgiving.

"With Thanksgiving next week, be sure to take steps to protect yourself and your family from accidents," Patronis said. "Thanksgiving is meant to be spent enjoying time with loved ones and not in the emergency room."

Many may not realize that cooking is the leading cause of home fire on Thanksgiving day. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a cooking fire is three times more likely to happen on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year.

In fact, most Thanksgiving day fires take place between 12-4 p.m., according to John Long, Vice President of the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters.

WATCH: Stay safe preparing for your feast this week

“A lot of people try to do too many things that day too. Being unattended is one of the big problems. If you’re frying a turkey let that be your job, let somebody else help you inside and that way you know you can stay right there and watch it," Long said.

Patronis, who is also the state’s chief financial officer, shared a video showing what could happen if a turkey fryer overflows.

He offered these eight safety tips to avoid a holiday tragedy:

  • If frying a turkey, do it away far away from the home. Keep the fryer on a level surface.
  • Thaw turkey completely before frying. Ice or water mixed with oil is a fire hazard.
  • Don't overfill the fryer with oil. Spillover can ignite.
  • Monitor oil temperature. It can catch fire if heated beyond smoke point.
  • Have an extinguisher. A Class K (kitchen type) or grease-rated extinguisher is best.
  • Don't leave the fryer unattended.
  • Watch the stove. Turn handles of pots and pans inward.
  • Watch the floor. Keep kitchen free of toys, pets and young children.

“A lot of people who didn’t want to put it [the fryer] out and away from the building caught their own house on fire because they did it in the garage,” Long said. He suggests staying away from buildings and creating a barrier from kids avoid an accident.

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