State Fire Commissioner reminds citizens to cook safely this Thanksgiving

Although never native to Montana turkeys were introduced here in the 1950s when national conservation efforts were mounted to save the species

Although never native to Montana turkeys were introduced here in the 1950s when national conservation efforts were mounted to save the species

"While we are with our family and friends, it is so important to not get distracted and to always stand next to the oven or stove when you are cooking".

If you have questions about your Thanksgiving dinner, you can call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) to talk to a food safety expert.

Home cooking fires peak on major USA holidays that include cooking, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

"I've seen a number of fire on Thanksgiving or Christmas over the years".

Government statistics show that cooking fires in residential buildings occurred more often on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year and more than 70 percent of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings result from cooking. If your fryer tips over or oil spills out, it will cause an instant fire.

Juices rarely run clear at that temp, the USDA said, but if they do it is likely the bird is overcooked. He said two-thirds of home-fire deaths result from a lack of smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms. Have activities that keep kids out of the kitchen during this busy time. Stay near the stove if you are boiling potatoes or frying items. Do not use water in an attempt to extinguish a grease fire.

Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so they're not accidentally knocked off the stove.

Curious children and pets should be kept away from the fryer while it is in use.

To grill a turkey, which saves room in your oven, cook over direct heat on a rack set over the charcoal or gas grill.

They advise being extremely careful when using turkey fryers that can easily ignite and burn down a home. Don't exceed the recommended oil level and only use the device outdoors! However, as you plan and prepare for the holiday meal fire officials urge everyone to keep safety a top priority. "It can start a flammable liquids fire, which are very risky and you can't put it out with a water hose". Sure, as long as you're around to enjoy it.

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