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City of Bryan, Texas



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November 8, 2023

Thanksgiving safety tips to keep your holiday from going up in flames

Thanksgiving means a lot of things to a lot of people. For on-call firefighters and emergency responders, it means they’re probably going to be a bit busier than normal. Thanksgiving is the No. 1 day of the year for home cooking fires in the United States, with three times the average number of reported home structure fires due to cooking equipment.

Here are some tips to help you to stay safe and to make sure that your only Thanksgiving disaster is forgetting the whipped cream for the pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving pies.

Cooking and the kitchen

First and foremost, thaw the bird.

Make sure to completely thaw out your turkey before roasting, smoking, grilling or deep-frying it. Trust us on this one. A thawed-out bird is a better-cooking bird.

Safety prep

  • Know how to use your Class B fire extinguisher and check it ahead of time to ensure it is in good working condition.
  • Use your oven mitts. Burns ruin a holiday meal.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing that could catch fire.
  • Remove potential tripping hazards.

For emergencies dial 911

If there’s a fire

  • Turn off the heat source.
  • Don’t open the oven door until fire is completely extinguished.
  • Never throw water on grease/oil fires.
  • If you can do so safely, smother a stove top fire with a metal lid, cookie sheet or pan. If the fire is too out of hand, use a fire extinguisher.

A person deep frying a turkey.

Don’t fail at frying

The last thing you want is to turn your turkey into an exploding fireball. Again, ensure the turkey is COMPLETELY THAWED to prevent a fire or explosion hazard.

Who, what, where

  • Always use the fryer outdoors on a flat surface safely away from structures, wooden decks, and covered patios. No matter what the weather is like, DO NOT use the fryer in a garage.
  • Monitor the temperature of the oil with a thermometer to prevent the oil from overheating and catching fire. If the oil begins to smoke, immediately turn the gas off.
  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer to prevent tipping, even after the turkey is out. The oil is dangerously hot for hours.

Person washing dishes

Save your drain

Never dispose of fats, oil, grease, or greasy food down your garbage disposal or drain. Fats and oils from cooking grease are a major cause of sewer backups because they clog pipes. Help us “Prevent the Clog.”

Grease and Bryan’s Used Oil Recycling Center

  • For small amounts of grease, absorb it with paper towels or pour into a spill-proof container and freeze it, and then dispose of it in your trash container.
  • For large amounts of grease, or oil from deep frying a turkey, save and dispose of it at the City of Bryan’s Used Oil and Tire Recycling Center.

Used Oil Recycling Center

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Posted in: Articles