Cook with caution today

By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Turkey and pies might be among the staples of Thanksgiving, but so are house fires.
According to State Farm, from 2005 to 2009, grease and cooking-related fire claims more than doubled on Thanksgiving Day, compared to an average November day.
Tupelo Fire Chief Thomas Walker said carelessness often contributes to holiday cooking fires.
“A lot of the time it’s people cooking on the stove and leaving food unattended that causes most cooking fires,” said Walker. “It doesn’t take long for things to get out of hand when it comes to fires in the home, so my advice would be to be careful and very attentive to what you are doing while cooking. We want everyone to have a great and safe holiday.”
With the increasing popularity of frying a turkey instead of baking, fire departments across the country are on alert on Thanksgiving.
According to State Farm, firefighters respond to more than 1,000 fires each year in which a deep fryer is involved.
The National Fire Protection Association says deep fryer fires cause an average of five deaths, 60 injuries and more than $15 million in property damage a year.
Walker said people using turkey fryers in the wrong places contributes to a large number of the fires.
“The deep fryers are designed to be used outside only,” said Walker. “It’s easy for things to get out of hand when you are trying to deep fry a turkey inside. The same goes for grilling. Make sure you do both outside.”

Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.