SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Thanksgiving is a day for family, football and lots of food. But, with all the cooking comes hazards. In fact, cooking fires happen more on Turkey Day than any other day in the year.
"It's definitely a busy day, not just in Summerville, but in the Lowcountry and nationally," said Captain Jacob Evans, Summerville Fire Department.
Evans says there is one big culprit for Thanksgiving Day house fires.
"Thanksgiving really is the peak day for home cooking fires and really that's because of the fryers," said Evans. "A lot of people don't know the dangers that they entail."
Evan says he sees people making the same, three mistakes with fryers every year.
"The first problem is a lot of times they put way too much oil in the actual fryer," said Evans.
Each manufacturer recommends a different amount of oil for their fryer. So, check the box and stick to that. Otherwise, Evans says the oil easily overspill and hits the burner below.
He says the other big mistake you can make is putting a frozen turkey in the fryer. This can create an immediate reaction of oil bursting out of the top of the fryer. Evans says the bird needs to be completely thawed out.
Evans says to make sure that the fryer is on a flat, solid surface in an open, outdoor area.
"When we say outside we don't mean in your garage, I know it's supposed to be cold tomorrow but we want to make sure we're keeping it away from the house," said Evans.
Wherever the fryer is, keep an eye on it at all times when hot. Make sure pets and kids stay away.
"The fryers can get over 350 degrees and that can cause burns and injuries to children too," said Evans.
Evans says there are some other things you can do to prepare for cooking. Check your smoke alarm, make sure it's batteries are working. Also, clean out any extra debris on stove burners or in the oven because that can catch fire easily as well.
Fire officials say if you do have an accidental fire, call 911. Don't try to put out a large grease fire by yourself. Three out of every five home cooking fire injuries happened when victims were trying to fight fires themselves.