Lincoln Fire and Rescue provides tips on how to safely cook a Thanksgiving turkey

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – Lincoln Fire and Rescue provided tips on how to safely cook a turkey for the Thanksgiving holiday.

On Thanksgiving day alone, an estimated 1,160 home cooking fires were reported to U.S fire departments in 2021, reflecting a 297% increase over the daily average, according to NFPA.

NFPA recommends people who want a fried turkey to purchase it from a grocery store, restaurant or buy a fryer that does not use oil.

MJ Lierman with Lincoln Fire and Rescue said Thanksgiving is a hectic day for a lot of people who are cooking and baking. People in the kitchen are reminded to be aware, present and don’t leave anything unattended.

In addition, NFPA said children should be three feet away from the stove, as steam or splash from hot food or drinks could cause serious burns.

If someone does want to use a turkey fryer, Lierman said to heat it up, turn the open flame off and then put the thawed turkey in.

“The amount of oil in the turkey fryer’s is what causes the problem,” Lierman said. “If the turkey is even not thawed a little bit, then that expansion when you put it into the oil is what causes the explosion and the fire gets out of control quickly.”

Do not fry a turkey in a garage or where there is a lot of debris around, she said.

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