fire.jpgThinking about deep-frying a turkey this Thanksgiving? Cal Fire is asking state residents to think twice before firing up the turkey fryer to prevent holiday tragedies.

Thanksgiving Day remains the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many cooking fires as an average day, according to statistics compiled by the National Fire Protection Association.

Last year, Cal Fire crews responded to more than 600 emergency incidents on Thanksgiving, and one person died in a home fire that day.

With emergencies increasing year by year, Cal Fire acting director Chief Ken Pimlott said he hopes residents will buck that trend by taking necessary precautions to prevent home fires.

Pimlott said in a statement released Monday that although it is the agency’s place to respond to such emergencies, “we certainly don’t want to respond to your house this Thanksgiving because there was a fire or someone was burned.”

“We want everyone to have a safe holiday season,” he said.

Cal Fire reminds those preparing a holiday feast to never leave cooking food unattended; to turn off the stove when leaving the kitchen for even short periods of time; and to keep a fire extinguisher handy at all times.

For those planning to deep-fry a turkey, Cal Fire advises that fryers should always be used outdoors–not on wooden decks or in garages–at a safe distance from buildings and other flammable materials.

Furthermore, hot oil in the fryer poses a burn risk to children, who should be kept away from turkey fryers. The fryers should also be operated on clean, level surfaces.

For more information on fire safety, visit

Patricia Decker, Bay City News

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