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Reduce the risk of a house fire while cooking this holiday

Reduce the risk of a house fire while cooking this holiday
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MSU Extension Service

As you begin preparing your Thanksgiving turkey, experts in Mississippi want you to be aware of the dangers of holiday cooking. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.

The bulk of deaths related to cooking-fires in the home happen during the Thanksgiving holiday. That's according to the National Fire Protection Association. So far this year, mistakes while cooking have claimed the lives of three Mississippians.

Mike Chaney is the State Fire Marshal. He explains a few don'ts while frying a turkey.

"Never ever try to cook a turkey in hot oil if it's frozen. If the oil comes out you then run the chance of having a fire 99 percent of the time and burning your house down if the turkey is not far enough away from your home," said Chaney.

Chaney says when a frozen or partially frozen turkey is dropped into a fryer, the cooking oil could react violently to the water, overflow from the pot and catch fire once it reaches the flame below. He says keep a fire extinguisher nearby and be sure your fire alarm is working.

Carol Todd Puckett is co-host of MPB's Deep South Dining. She says properly thawing your turkey is vital. If you haven't started the thawing process, she says start today!

"You want to put it in the coldest part of your refrigerator and just let it thaw," said Puckett.

And in case you wait too late to start thawing, Puckett recommends a shortcut to make cooking your turkey safer.

"If your turkey is still just a little bit frozen or something, fill up your sink with cold water-- not hot water. And, put the turkey in breast side down and change the water every thirty minutes," said Puckett.

For more tips on how to stay safe while cooking this holiday, visit the Mississippi Insurance Department's website. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.