LAS CRUCES- Fire departments throughout the country respond to more structure fires during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays than any other time of year, and cooking accidents are often the source of those seasonal fires.
The Las Cruces Fire Department reminds holiday chefs to take extra precautions when preparing their holiday feast and recommend following these and other safety tips:
• Start with a clean cooking area and keep the area maintained.
• Keep the cooking area off limits to children and pets.
• Limit the number of people cooking to avoid crowding and accidents.
• Avoid wearing loose clothing and jewelry that could interfere with cooking.
• Never leave cooking – indoor or outdoor – unattended. Turn off all burners and other devices when leaving the cooking area.
Deep-frying a turkey is popular but there are unique dangers that come along with this method of cooking and safety precautions should be taken:
• Never use a deep-fryer in a garage, on a porch or on any other surface that can catch fire. It is recommended you place the fryer at least 10 feet away from all surfaces including walls and fences.
• Ensure the hose connecting the fryer to the propane tank is free from cracks, and long enough to keep the tank and fryer a safe distance from each other.
• Be sure that the turkey is completely thawed. Slowly place and remove turkey from fryer. Avoid dropping or quickly removing turkey and cover any bare skin while using a fryer.
• Do not leave fryer unattended and check oil temperature regularly.
• If a fire starts call 911 and do not try extinguishing grease or oil fires with water.
• Follow all directions and safety measures included with the burner and fryer.
LCFD also urges all homeowners and apartment dwellers to keep a fire extinguisher handy and know how to properly use it if necessary. For more information on fire safety visit the Resource Section of the LCFD Website at www.clcfd.com .