Keep Thanksgiving Safe

By Neil Doyle

NORMAL – A central Illinois fire department has some tips to help prevent fires in the kitchen this Thanksgiving.

While the holiday means lots of cooking it’s important to not leave food unattended, according to Normal Fire Department Public Information Officer Matt Swaney.

“Always have somebody standing by whenever something is cooking because all it takes is one mess up and then the meal and your house could be ruined,” said Swaney.

Some prevention tips – if a small stovetop fire happens, the best thing to do is smother it by sliding a lid over the pan and turn off the burner, said Swaney.

“For an oven fire the best thing to do is turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed,” he said.

Swaney added turkey fryers should only be used outside and the bird should be completely thawed before frying.

More safe cooking tips from the Illinois State Fire Marshal:

• Create a “Kid Free Zone” of at least three feet around the stove or anywhere you are
preparing hot food or drinks.

• Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove top.

• If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home
while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you when food is ready.

Neil Doyle can be reached at