Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department
4100 Chain Bridge Rd, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Phone: 703-246-3801, TTY: 711 and Fax:703-385-1687
Duty PIO (Weekends/After-hours): 703-280-0694
Media Information Line: 703-324-3000
News Release 09-85
Date: November 18, 2009
Thanksgiving Day is the busiest day for the fire service. More property damage and lives are lost in residential structure fires on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year. The increase applies mostly to cooking fires in family homes. In 2005, cooking fires were involved in approximately 1,300 reported home structure fires on Thanksgiving--more than three times the daily average.
Over the last several years, turkey fryer fires have contributed significantly to the increase in cooking fires. The use of turkey fryers by consumers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries, and destruction of property. The following safe cooking tips can help to make your holiday safer:
If having a fried turkey is a must for Thanksgiving, consider purchasing a fried, cooked turkey from a commercial source. Supermarkets and restaurants accept orders for fried turkeys during the holiday season.
- Always use cooking equipment tested and approved by a recognized testing facility.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying or grilling food. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch fire--potholders, towels, or curtains away from the stovetop.
- Have a "kid-free zone" of at least three feet around the stove.
- Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
- Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when cooking.
- When placing the turkey into the oven or turkey fryer, be extremely careful.
For more information, call Daniel L. Schmidt or Captain I Randal Bittinger, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, 703-246-3801 and TTY: 711. Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request.