Holiday cooking safety

  • Published
  • By Hurlburt Field Fire and Emergency Services Flight
  • 1st Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron
The Hurlburt Field Fire and Emergency Services Flight wants to ensure everyone has a joyous and safe holiday season. Last year, turkey fryers were responsible for 62 fires and several injuries in the United States. Please adhere to these holiday cooking safety tips while you're planning and preparing your holiday meals.
  • Keep cooking areas clear of all combustibles.
  • Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook.
  • Keep the handles of your pots turned inward so they do not overhang the stove.
  • If grease catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan and smother the flames then turn off the burner. DO NOT use water. Use a Class ABC extinguisher, Class K extinguisher or baking powder.
  • If there is a fire in the oven, leave the door shut and try to turn the oven off so the fire will die out.

A longtime food favorite in the Southern United States, the delicious deep-fried turkey has quickly grown in popularity and tradition. The reasons for the fires and injuries have been attributed to the following causes:
  • Improper use of fryers by untrained persons
  • Improperly designed homemade fryers
  • Fryer placed too close to combustibles
  • Plunging the turkey too quickly into the fryer
  • Leaving the fryer unattended

If you still feel that you want to deep fry your turkey this holiday season, please adhere to the following fire prevention tips:
  • Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors. Maintain a safe distance from buildings and any other hazardous material that can burn.
  • Never place a frozen/wet turkey into the fryer.
  • Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks, inside houses or in garages.
  • Make sure the fryers are used on a flat, hard surface to reduce accidental tipping.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you don't watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  • Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use. Even after use, never allow children or pets near the turkey fryer. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.
  • To avoid oil spillover, do not over fill the fryer.
  • Use well insulated pot holders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water don't mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire.
  • Keep a Class ABC or Class K fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire.
  • If a fire occurs, clear the area and call 911.
If you must leave the cooking area for any reason, ensure the stove, oven or fryer is turned off. NEVER LEAVE COOKING UNATTENDED.

If you have questions concerning holiday or cooking safety, please contact the Fire Prevention Office at 884-6360.