Fire officials give safety tips for turkey frying ahead of Thanksgiving

Austin firefighters served up a turkey day disaster Monday to remind holiday cooks what not to do.

"As far as Texas goes we rank number one, in those types of fires, so everything is bigger in Texas, right,” said AFD Captain Matt Holmes.

The two major mistakes in deep fryer fires, according to Holmes, involve too much oil and birds that are still frozen.

"Yes, it has to be 100% thawed, because if you have any moisture whether its ice or water, that will react violently to the hot oil you put it in … Even a little bit,” said Holmes.

In Austin last year; one of three Thanksgiving day fires involved a deep fryer flare. The turkey day disaster demo took place in the parking lot of the Riverside HEB. It provided store employees an important lesson to pass on.

"To see it in action was really great to see it, an eye opener and definitely we are able to educate our customers more deeply with seeing it today,” said HEB Spokesperson Johnny Mojica.

After a successful turkey day meal, a lot of families spend the rest of Thanksgiving putting up Christmas trees. Christmas trees also pose a fire danger. Artificial trees can overload outlets and live trees can dry up, essentially becoming kindling.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission did a comparison video of a dry tree and one properly watered. It only takes seconds for a room to be over-run by flames.

"I would think of a dry Christmas tree, live tree, as a container of gasoline, you wouldn't leave it in your home. And you'd be dang sure there was no heat source could get to that,” said Holmes.  

AFD did one other safety demonstration. It was a home grease fire. The lesson is; never use water to put out a grease fire. Grease fires are extinguished by smothering the flames. Fire fighters recommend that every home have a fire extinguisher - and to regularly check to make sure they are fully charged.