Wildfire Preparedness Is Year-Round: Don’t Be a Turkey-Keep Fire Safety First

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and while many New Mexicans are planning their holiday menu, please remember that carelessness while cooking can lead to a fire tragedy. Your NM wildfire agencies and partners want to ensure that your Thanksgiving is a happy time with family and friends by sharing some simple safety recommendations. Continuing with our “Wildfire Preparedness is Year-Round” campaign, our message for November and Thanksgiving is “Don’t be a turkey. Keep fire safety first!” 

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires and the second leading cause of home fire deaths in the U.S. Approximately 52% of home cooking fires start from fat, grease or oil. Turkey frying is a top culprit as the oil can reach temperatures of at least 350 degrees. One slip could not only ruin your Thanksgiving feast but could also destroy your home and put your family and neighbors in danger from wildfire.

Here are some tips from the U.S. Fire Administration and NFPA that could keep you and your family safe this holiday season.

·   Only use your turkey fryer outdoors on a sturdy, level surface and do not move it once it is in use.

·   Make sure your turkey fryer is at least 10 feet from your home and not under roof eaves.

·   Clear leaves, pine needles and woody debris within 10 feet of the area where you are frying.

·   Make sure your turkey is fully thawed without frost on it before you fry it.

·   Never leave your turkey fryer unattended and check the temperature frequently to prevent the oil from overheating.

·   Always wear long cooking gloves to cover hands and arms while using a turkey fryer.

·   Keep children and pets far away from the turkey fryer.

·   Consider using a safer alternative, such as an electric or air fryer.

The NFPA and US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) created a video that shows you what can happen if you don’t follow safety procedures when frying a turkey. (View the video at this link: Dangers of Turkey Fryers) More information is also available at www.nfpa.org/.

Wildfire cooperators in New Mexico are working together to bring you these monthly messages including the Cibola National Forest & National Grasslands, the Carson and Santa Fe National Forests, New Mexico Forestry Division, Forest Stewards Guild, Fire Adapted NM, the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management New Mexico. The group has built a 2021 wildfire preparedness calendar and is sharing the message across multiple platforms, including social media, webinars and community events. Bookmark the wildfire preparedness webpage to follow the campaign throughout the year. Share the message!

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