Peoria Fire Department shares tips to prevent fried turkey fires

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Before you cook your turkey this Thanksgiving, the Peoria Fire Department is sharing ways to make your holiday meal safe.

As families gather for Thanksgiving, firefighters say it’s a time when kitchen accidents are on the rise.

“The cooking fires are really up, usually two to three times over the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Nate Rice, Division Chief of Fire Prevention at Peoria Fire Department.

One danger is improperly cooking your turkey. Friday, the Peoria Department held a live demonstration of what happens when a turkey is fried without the proper safety steps.

“It’s going to quickly ignite and it’s going to spread quickly and you won’t have time to react in those situations,” Rice said.

Rice said there are ways to ensure your turkey makes it to the dinner table without becoming a hazard.

“Making sure you’re not overfilling [oil], making sure your turkey is completely thawed,” Rice said.

Where you cook your meal plays a role as well. Rice said you should never fry a turkey indoors.

“We know we’re dealing with a little bit colder weather around Thanksgiving time. All you need to do is allow yourself a little more time to heat up that oil and your oil doesn’t have to be that hot. It only needs to be about 350 degrees,” Rice said.

Firefighters added that Friday’s demonstration is useful for the community’s safety and theirs.

“We’re often not at the time that it happens, we don’t get to witness the development phase. So even for us it’s very instrumental to watch how fast it happens,” said Captain Marcus Rutledge, temporary training supervisor for Peoria Fire Department.

Rice said everyone should also have a fire extinguisher at their home and keep it close by when you’re frying a turkey. He added that everyday hardware stores usually carry extinguishers for home use.

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