LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — This Thanksgiving, you want to make sure you don’t need to call 911.

Nationally, Thanksgiving is the peak holiday for home cooking fires.

Here in Kentucky, fire departments across the state will be on call should you need their help this holiday but are also offering tips to ensure you don’t need their help.

Food is at the heart of the home and the majority of 911 calls received on Thanksgiving are related to cooking fires or burns from grease fires.

Many people opt to fry their showstopper at the dinner table, the turkey.

If that is the route you choose, since you are heating a flammable liquid in oil to a very high temperature, there are some obvious dangers but there is one thing Lexington firefighters want to make sure you are mindful of.

“The biggest thing we want you to know does not put a frozen or even partially thawed turkey, or wet turkey into a turkey fryer,” said Lexington Firefighter Holly Buchenroth. “Even just drying it off before putting it into the turkey fryer is important so you don’t get that splashback. “

Here is a full list of suggestions when it comes to turkey frying from the Lexington Fire Department:

DO when Frying a TurkeyDON’T when Frying a Turkey
Use fresh or fully thawed turkeyNever lower a frozen or partially thawed turkey
into hot oil
Remove all giblets and neck from interior of the
Do not stuff turkeys for deep frying
Use paper towels to pat turkey dry both
inside and out
Never fry indoors, near flammable materials,
or on a wooden deck
Fry on a level spot in your yardAvoid frying on concrete as oil can stain
Know where the recommended fill line is on
your fryer
Do not over fill your fryer with oil as it can
overflow, tip over, or splatter causing burns
Keep children and pets away from the hot oilNever leave your fryer unattended
Keep a fire extinguisher nearbyNever use a hose or water-based extinguisher
Wear thick gloves, oven mitts, or long sleeves
while frying
Never consume alcohol while cooking
Keep oil temperature at 350 degrees (Fahrenheit)Reduce heat immediately if oil beings to smoke
Use a cooking oil with a high smoke point
Lower turkey carefully into hot oil to avoid
splashing or spillage

When it comes to frying your turkey as well, make sure you have the right cooking oil, and never, ever, ever fry your turkey inside your house.

Find a spot outside and a far enough distance from your home because, at the end of the day, you don’t want your turkey or worse your home going up in flames.

God forbid something does go wrong as you are cooking your feast Thursday, you are going to want to have a fire extinguisher on hand.

Do not use water to put out a grease fire as oil and water do not mix well.

Just because you have a fire extinguisher on hand, however, doesn’t mean it will be ready to go should you need it.

“You want to check if the fire extinguisher is in date because they do need to be tested every 5 years for hydrostatic testing,” Buchenroth explained. “So, they are only good for so long so if you have had that fire extinguisher for a number of years, it might be time to replace it.”

If you are going to need to use a fire extinguisher, you want to keep in mind the P-A-S-S method; Pull the pin, Aim at the fire, Squeeze the trigger, and Spray the area.

If you step out of the kitchen at some point during the day while your food is in the oven, smoke detectors could be your best friend.

Although most homes don’t have smoke detectors in the kitchen, it is still important to make sure they are up-to-date and good to go.

Smoke detectors are only good for 10 years, so especially during the holiday season, when you may be hosting a lot of people over the next few weeks, you will want to make sure they actually work.


“Especially around this time of year with Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s coming up, to maybe double check those batteries to make sure they are working,” said Buchenroth. “To give that smoke detector test button a press, make sure or just refresh the batteries if they are battery operated.”

If you are not sure if your smoke detectors are still good for use, you can contact your local fire department.

They will help you make sure all your detectors are good to go and if your home has enough smoke detectors.

We know Thanksgiving is all about family, but as you prepare your dinner the National Fire Protection Association wants to remind you not to get distracted.

They say to:

  • Never leave the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop to keep an eye on your food.
  • Keeping children away from the stove, about three feet away is a good bet.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food or liquids as steam or a splash of grease could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear while you bring your food to the table.
  • Keep knives out of kids reach.
  • Don’t have cords dangling off the edge of your counter.