Did you know your Thanksgiving turkey can set your house on fire?
A lot more people were apparently aware of the danger, as an aggressive pre-Thanksgiving campaign to encourage Orange County residents to cook their turkeys safely resulted in fewer food- related fires, authorities said Friday.
There were eight cooking-related fires in Orange County Thursday compared with 11 on Thanksgiving, 2015, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi.
There were two fires in Buena Park and one fire each in Santa Ana, La Palma, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel and San Clemente, Concialdi said.
“A lot of it is the drippings overflowing and landing on heating elements,” he said.
An oven malfunctioned in the Laguna Niguel fire and the residents could not turn it off, Concialdi said. Firefighters turned off the power and gas to stop the oven fire.
The La Palma cook accidentally turned on the self-cleaning option, he said. “Once you turn it on you can’t turn it off,” and the turkey burned and caught fire.
The damage was minor in all cases, Concialdi said.
With more holiday cooking upcoming, he offered some reminders.
“Make sure to watch your cooking, don’t leave it unattended,” Concialdi said. “Make sure you have working smoke alarms. When you are cooking, put a baking sheet or aluminum foil below to catch the grease and spices that can smoke and catch fire.”
Cooks should always have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, he said. Never use water to put out a grease fire. A pot lid can also be used to smother some fires.
—City News Service
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