PARMA, Ohio — Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and many of us are already prepping for a long day in the kitchen.
In the meantime—firefighters are gearing up for one of the busiest days of the year.
The National Fire Protection Association reports Thanksgiving has more than three times as many fires when compared to any other day. That's an average of 2,300 cooking fires. These fires caused an estimated annual average of 5 deaths, 25 injuries and more than 25 million dollars in property damage.
City of Parma Fire Department Public Information Officer T.J. Martin says that often times the fires are fully preventable, and it starts with preparing yourself.
He says when prepping and cooking food don’t leave the kitchen or your home unattended.
Use a timer regardless of the meal you're prepping and have lids on hand. A lid can be used to smother a grease fire and prevent further spread of flames and damage.
Don’t cook in loose clothing. Long sleeves, extra fabric and scarves can all catch fire. Keep kids out of the kitchen. From boiling water spills to slips and falls—it's fully preventable.
As for prepping your turkey—it usually needs to thaw out for at least three to five days before it can be properly cooked. And when it comes to deep frying turkey, never put a frozen turkey in hot oil. Excess water and residue can also cause the turkey to catch fire when dropped into the deep fryer. It creates a massive fire that can get out of control fast. If you're deep frying your bird—make sure you have the deep fryer at least 10-15 feet away from your home.
Do not overfill your pot with oil, and make sure you turn off the flame when you are dropping your turkey into the deep fryer's oil.