MISSOULA – Chances are that if your kitchen were to catch fire, it would most likely happen on Thanksgiving Day.
When those fires start, Missoula Rural firefighters spring into action to put them out, even during the holidays.
To keep them eating turkey at the station, and to keep your home safe, they have some advice for Thanksgiving cooking safety.
“The biggest thing that we really like to reinforce is to make sure that folks are keeping an eye on it,” Missoula Rural Fire Battalion Chief Blaine Cowan said. “They don’t want to leave the food cooking unattended. Even have someone kind of on standby to watch if you have to leave for a certain amount of time or whatever.”
There might be a view visitors to the home who don’t quite know the lay of the land, so be aware of the little ones in the kitchen.
“I think a lot of times the kids are traveling to somebody else’s, maybe a different family or friend’s house and they aren’t familiar with the kitchen,” Cowan said. “Maybe just make sure the kids have an activity to do so they aren’t getting curious in the kitchen and will keep them safe as well.”
Fried turkeys present their own unique set of problems that Rural Fire says can also be prevented by preparation.
“First and foremost I would go straight to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you’ve got a fryer or if you’re cooking a fried turkey and you’re using the instructions of the internet, let’s say,” Cowan said. “Obviously go right straight to the safety tips to make sure when you’re setting it all up and getting ready to do that turkey in the fryer that you’re following what people suggest for safety tips.”
Make sure to have a solid non-flammable base under the fryer and if you can check how much oil will be displaced by the turkey when it’s dropped in.
Also, make sure the turkey is completely thawed before you fry it.
“You got to thaw the turkey all the way because, unfortunately, those ice particles still in the meat react with that hot oil and all of the sudden it’s explosive. It’s literally explosive,” Cowan said.
And isn’t all that family together under one roof explosive enough?
While firefighters will still be on call and prepared to respond to blazes on Thanksgiving Day, Cowan assured us that they will indeed have a Thanksgiving meal at the station.