PARKERSBURG - Thanksgiving day is the No. 1 day for cooking fires, officials said.
A fire in an oven can spread to the structure, said Capt. Tim Flinn, chief inspector of the Parkersburg Fire Department.
"It's important to stay in the kitchen when using the stove top," Flinn said. "Anything near the stove top that's combustible should be cleared as well."
Photo by Mandi Cardosi
Blennerhassett Hotel chef Ben Mulé shows how much turkey the hotel plans to serve for today’s Thanksgiving dinner.
Flinn and the National Fire Protection Agency discourage the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil. The agency urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek professional establishments, such as grocery stores, specialty food retailers and restaurants for preparation of the turkey or consider a new type of 'oil-less' turkey fryer.
Turkey fryers can be hazardous mostly because of the large amount of hot oil used, the agency said. The combustible liquid can exceed 350 degrees.
Fryers specifically designated for outdoor use, can be exposed to conditions including snow and rain that can cause the oil to splatter and can lead to burns. According to the fire protection agency, fires have occurred when turkey fryers were used in a garage or barn to keep the appliance out of the rain.
Staying Safe In Your Kitchen
From the National Fire Protection Agency, safety tips while cooking the Thanksgiving meal:
* Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop to keep an eye on food.
* Stay in the home when cooking turkey and frequently check it.
* Keep children away from the stove.
* Keep the floor clear to avoid tripping over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
* Keep knives out of reach of children.
* Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
* Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children, up high in a locked cabinet.
* Make sure smoke alarms are working, test them by pushing the test button before cooking.
Besides the safety aspect, Ben Mul, the chef at the Blennerhassett Hotel for about 10 years, has recommendations on how to prepare the turkey.
"It's important to season inside the cavity," he said.
The hotel started preparing for the food-filled holiday on Monday, he said. About 650 people will be served today, Mul said.
For the average person preparing the family meal, Mul suggested stuffing the turkey with vegetables for additional flavor. It takes about 20 minutes per pound to fully cook a turkey in a 350-degree oven, he said.