How to prevent turkey-related fires

  • Published
  • By Jarvis Amos
  • 1st Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron
From 2007 through 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to 156,600 home cooking fires on average per year. These fires caused an average of 400 deaths, 5,080 injuries and more than $850 million in property damage annually, according to

Adhering to the following safety tips will reduce the risk of fire when cooking holiday meals:
  • Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles items.
  • Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking.
  • Keep pot handles turned inward so they do not hang over the stove.
  • Never throw water on a grease fire; it will only worsen the situation.
  • In the event of a grease fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan and smother the flames, then turn off the burner. Use a Class ABC fire extinguisher, Class K fire extinguisher or baking powder to put out grease fires.
  • If there is a fire in the oven, leave the door shut and turn the heat off.
Deep-frying the turkey has quickly grown in popularity and tradition. The primary causes of deep-frying fires and injuries are:
  • Improper use
  • Improperly designed homemade fryers
  • Fryer placed too close to combustibles
  • Plunging the turkey into the fryer too quickly
  • Leaving the fryer unattended
If planning to deep-fry a turkey, follow these fire prevention tips:
  • Never use turkey fryers indoors or on wooden decks. Maintain a safe distance from buildings and anything else which can burn.
  • Never place a frozen or wet turkey into a fryer.
  • Ensure fryers are used on a flat, hard surface to reduce accidental tipping.
  • Never allow children or pets near a fryer during or several hours after use.
  • Do not overfill a fryer.
  • Wear safety goggles to protect eyes from oil splatter.
  • If a fire occurs, clear the area and call 911.
For more information about holiday or cooking safety, contact the Hurlburt Fire Prevention Office at (850) 884-6360.