Thanksgiving is #1 day of the year for cooking fires

Texas ranks number one in the nation for the most grease and cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day. Some incidents end up being fatal. Austin firefighters showed what not to do to avoid a catastrophe.

Where there's grease and a turkey, there's the potential for fire. Austin firefighters demonstrated that for us on Monday.

According to the National Fire Protection Association deep fryers cause an average of five deaths, 60 injuries and more than $15 million in property damage each year.

"If you're going to fry a turkey, you want that turkey to be completely thawed out and completely dried. You want to reach down into it and pull the giblets out. Cause you don't want that in there. It's just extra moisture. Moisture and hot oil do not mix,” said AFD Division Chief Dawn Clopton.

Fryers aren't the only issue. Unattended grease on the stove can be extremely dangerous. Pouring water on the flames only makes it flare up worse as shown by AFD.

"Just pay attention. Don't walk off and leave things cooking. If you're gonna cook, you're cooking,” said Clopton.

As volatile as these scenarios are, Doctor Christopher Ziebell, medical director of the ER department at University Medical Center Brackenridge Hospital says burns are not the top Thanksgiving Day injury.

"The number one thing we see is related to getting up on ladders, taking care of Christmas lights and other decorations,” said Ziebell. "Head injuries sometimes, spine injuries, just depends how they land, but most commonly it would be broken arms, broken legs, broken hips that kind of stuff."

Turkey frying worries him most though.

"It's really important for people to study up ahead, watch some videos online to see exactly how to do it right and how not to do it wrong and really prepare for it,” said Ziebell. "I would  much rather see people enjoying their time with their families and being at home and not needing the services of the trauma center. We will be happy to sit around and watch the football game."

Other top injuries result from sports, throwing the football around with family members, and car accidents.

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