PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — With Thanksgiving a day away, the Pensacola Fire Department gives some tips on cooking safety now and throughout the holidays.

“While you plan your menus, also plan for fire safety and be sure to check your smoke alarms to make sure they are working,” said Fire Marshal Annie Bloxson.

The department said cooking is the greatest cause of home fires and home fire injuries, with Thanksgiving being the peak day for home cooking fires.

Here are a few cooking safety tips the department gave as families prepare for holiday meals:

  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking at high temperatures.
  • Stay home when cooking turkey and check on it frequently. If you leave the kitchen, set a timer to remind yourself food is simmering or baking.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves to avoid fabric catching fire.
  • Keep pan/pot handles turned towards the back of the stove to avoid spilling hot liquid.

There are several risks the department said to consider when frying a turkey:

  • Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot oil across a large area.
  • An overfilled cooking pot will cause oil to spill over when the turkey is placed inside. You can test the level of oil needed by filling the pot with water first and dipping the the turkey inside to see how much the water rises.
  • A partially frozen turkey will cause hot oil to splatter.
  • Without thermostat controls, turkey fryers can easily overheat and start a fire.
  • Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire.
  • The pot, lid and handles of a turkey fryer can get dangerously hot and cause burn injuries.

The Pensacola Fire Department recommends an electric turkey fryer, however, if families do deep fry turkeys, they suggest following these safety tips:

  • Place the fryer outside, on a flat surface that cannot burn, such as cement.
  • Place the fryer at least 10 feet from anything that can catch fire. This includes anything overhead like your house eaves or branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet from the fryer.
  • Use a fryer with thermostat controls. Without these, the oil can heat to the point of catching fire.
  • Thaw the turkey completely before cooking to keep ice crystals from splattering oil.
  • Use potholders and oven mitts when handling the turkey fryer.

For more cooking safety tips, click here.

Stay ahead of the biggest stories, breaking news and weather in Mobile, Pensacola and across the Gulf Coast and Alabama. Download the WKRG News 5 news app and be sure to turn on push alerts.