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Holiday tip: Never fry a frozen turkey

Post Date:11/17/2017 12:00 PM

The holiday season is a time to salivate over green bean casserole and pumpkin pie as much as it’s a time to reflect on fire safety. 

While Poudre Fire Authority responds to cooking fires year-round, there is a greater potential for these fires to occur on or around the holidays simply because there are more people in the kitchen or out on the lawn frying turkeys. 



Between Jan. 1, 2013 and Nov. 13, 2017, PFA responded to a total of 251 fires that originated in a kitchen. In that same timeframe, there were 533 false alarms that sounded due to cooking or burnt food. Often times, the fire was extinguished before PFA firefighters got on scene. 

Fires are preventable. The following are U.S. Fire Administration tips to keep in mind you or the cooks in your household prepare the annual holiday feast: 

- Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packages, towels and even curtains – away from your stovetop. 
- Stay in the kitchen when you’re frying, boiling, grilling, baking or broiling food. 
- If you simmer, bake or roast food, check it regularly to prevent a fire. Set a timer so you don’t forget. 
- Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Bumping or pulling an overhanging handle can spill food or liquids and cause burns. 
- Use mitts when removing hot dishes from the microwave. This is a common cause of household burns. 
- In case of an oven fire, turn off the oven and keep the door closed until it’s cool. 
- If you are cooking with oil and experience a grease fire, DO NOT attempt to put it out with water, as a violent reaction will occur. Instead, move a lid over the pot, turn off the burner and step away from the stove. 
- If you are planning to fry anything this holiday season, make sure the food is completely thawed. Frozen foods will react violently when dunked into hot oil. 

More information is available at: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/out... 

Poudre Fire Authority firefighters responded to two separate fatalities in 2017 that were due to cooking fires. 

PFA investigators determined the most recent fatal fire, which occurred Oct. 21 in a condominium on West Plum Street, was accidental. The fire started in the kitchen, where a pot of cooking oil caught fire. 

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Have questions about fire- and life-safety-related topics? Email education@poudre-fire.org