Rockford Fire Department offers annual reminder: don’t set your kitchen on fire this Thanksgiving

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rockford Fire Department doesn’t really want to be invited to your house on Thanksgiving, so they are issuing a friendly, yearly reminder that cooking a holiday meal comes with a set of fire risks.

“Take your time. Prepare out the meal. Don’t rush and follow all the instructions and you can be very safe and be effective at cooking and preparing your holiday dinner,” said Division Chief Matthew Knott.

Whether it’s deep frying a turkey or making gravy on the stove, the department says never leave cooking food unattended.

“About forty-six percent of residential fires are due to cooking mistakes,” said Fire Inspector Jason Viveros.

Viveros says fires can start when loose clothing or a kitchen towel gets too close to a flame, and recommends keeping a pan lid nearby to put out any small fires on the stove.

He also recommends keeping a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.

“Be careful when you’re cooking with oil. Hot grease can flare up really easily. A lot of times, people do make the mistake of trying to extinguish the fire with water, so make sure you don’t do that, because it can make the flames even grow so much quicker,” he said.

Knott says households should be sure their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working.

“Everybody wants to help in, pitch in, and do so. Divide and conquer. You can prepare a holiday meal very safe and very accurately,” he said.

Knott also said: if you haven’t taken the turkey out of the freezer yet, don’t even try to deep fry it tomorrow. Once the moisture on it hits the hot oil, it will explode, he says.

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