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December 08, 2021

Where Every Family Matters

Rutherford County Fire & Rescue Offers Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Rutherford County Fire Rescue (RCFR) is offering Thanksgiving holiday safety tips ahead of this week’s festivities.

“Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires with more than three times the daily average for such incidents,” shared Fire Marshal Joshua Sanders, adding that most are caused by unattended cooking.

Sanders says there are 10 tips that can be implemented while preparing for your “Turkey Day” feast:

• Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.
• Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
• Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay three feet away.
• Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
• Keep knives out of the reach of children.
• Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
• Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
• Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
• Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
• Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

To demonstrate the safe way to deep fry a turkey, Sanders partnered with RCTV to highlighting the consequences of doing things the WRONG way. These safety tips can help prevent a turkey frying disaster:

• Do not overfill your fryer. An overfilled pot will cause oil to spill over when the turkey is placed inside.
• Keep the fryer on a non-combustible, flat surface.
• Have a three-foot safety zone around the fryer for kids and pets to protect against burn injuries.
• Thaw the turkey completely before frying.
• Check the temperature of your fryer frequently so the oil doesn’t overheat.
• Use the manufacturer’s guidelines for using the fryer.
• The pot, lid, and handles will be dangerously hot and could cause burn injuries. Long cooking gloves that protect hands and arms should be used.

Lastly, Sanders says that all homes should be equipped with working smoke alarms. “Working smoke alarms can cut your risk of fire death in half,” he comments. RCFR can come inspect and/or install free alarms for citizens in the county. Contact the office at 615-867-4626 Monday-Friday 8:00 am-4:30 pm to schedule an installation.

“Our hope is that with these safety tips, our citizens are able to enjoy a fun and safe time with family without an unexpected visit from the fire department,” says Sanders.

About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing and Entertainment Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 18-month-old Ezra.