Firefighter shares Thanksgiving fire safety instructions

MCALLEN, TX (ValleyCentral) – Thanksgiving is just over two weeks away, but the McAllen Fire Department wants to emphasize the importance of fire safety well in advance of the holidays.

McAllen Fire Department public education officer Dr. Lucas Garcia told ValleyCentral, before dropping a turkey into the fryer, to turn it off and allow the oil to cool five degrees. Once cooled, the turkey can be put down and the heat can be put back up.

However, if oil splashes from the fryer, Dr. Garcia recommends cleaning it out before lighting the flame. If it is not cleaned, it could cause a fire.

If you cook or fry outside, do not locate the deep fryer or pit near you.

When cooking or storing food in an oven, do not leave it unattended. A common fire starter that the McAllen fire department has seen is caused by food preheating in the oven and often these pots and pans have a plastic handle that will also start a fire.

According to United States Fire Administration, the average number of fires on Thanksgiving Day was more than double (2.3 times) the average number of residential building fires every other day.

73.5% of these fires are due to cooking, 7.7% were caused by heating and 18.8% were reported as other causes.

On average, a fire on Thanksgiving Day could cost $ 9,570 in damage and repairs.

Although the United States saw about 767 vacation home fires each year between 2017 and 2019, the McAllen Fire Department sees about one each year.

“Always call 911. Don’t feel like you have to handle the whole emergency,” Dr. Garcia commented. “Please remove yourself and your family from the facility and let the professionals take care of the problem for you. “

Dr Garcia added that the McAllen Fire Department will not be hosting any events specific to Thanksgiving fire safety, but the service plans to “piggyback” on other events in town to help continue to broadcast their events. safety tips.

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Susan W. Lloyd