Holiday Cooking Safety

What do you picture when you think about Thanksgiving? Family and friends? Tables of food? Football games? Hours in the kitchen cooking? Starting your holiday shopping?

Cooking safety probably isn’t one of the first things that come to mind when you’re thinking about Thanksgiving, but this year we hope it will be. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Arlington County Fire Department wants you and your family to have a happy and healthy holiday season this year. We urge you to keep yourself and your family safe this holiday season by looking at the

Use extreme caution if using a turkey fryer

  • Set up the fryer outdoors away from anything that can burn. Never use the fryer in a garage or on a deck.
  • Place the fryer on a flat surface.
  • Determine the correct amount of oil needed by first placing the turkey in the pot with water.
  • Thaw the turkey completely before frying. A partially frozen turkey will cause hot oil to splatter.
  • Monitor the oil temperature with a cooking thermometer so the oil won’t overheat. Turkey fryers can easily overheat and start a fire.
  • Remember to use oven mitts. The pot, lid, and handles of a turkey fryer can get dangerously hot and cause burn injuries.

If you have a cooking fire

  • Get out of your home and remember to close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 from a safe place outside.
  • For a small grease fire, smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the oven and keep the door closed.

Additional cooking safety tips

  • Always stay in the kitchen while you are frying, boiling or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire (pot holders, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains) away from the stovetop.
  • Keep children at least 3 feet away from the stove or any cooking appliances.