Holiday safety tips from ABQ Fire Rescue

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The holidays are here and firefighters have tips to ensure your house isn’t gobbled up and the gift wrap is all that gets destroyed.

First of all, Thanksgiving, which is November 24 this year.

The most dangerous way to cook your turkey is by taking it directly from the freezer and dropping it into a deep fryer filled with boiling oil.

Albuquerque Fire Rescue crews showed KOB 4 what happens. AFR did this outside on the concrete because oil and flames spew everywhere when the frozen turkey goes into the deep fryer. If you did it in your house, you could easily set it ablaze.

To avoid this, you should make sure your turkey is thawed out completely before deep frying it.

“That oil is hot and, if you’re dropping a frozen turkey in there, the two aren’t going to mix and it’s going to sometimes cause an explosion,” AFR Lt. Tom Ruiz said. “Every year it seems like somebody or some people will have some kind of accident inside their house where there’s been some type of cooking mishap that does happen and folks should be mindful of that.”

Most house fires AFR responds to are related to cooking mishaps like that. To avoid all problems, AFR even says you should deep fry your bird outside and away from anything that may catch fire.

After you finish up your food, your family may do some Christmas decorating. In contrast to your Thanksgiving turkey, you’ll want your tree to be anything but bone-dry if it is a live tree.

The National Fire Protection Association estimates Christmas trees cause around 160 house fires each year. While they’re not as common as a kitchen-related fire, you still need to take care of your tree as not doing so increases your chances of a fire.

“If you haven’t watered them, they can just go up within a couple of minutes because of how dry they are,” Lt. Ruiz said. “So the second you get them cut down, if it’s a live tree, they have started to dry out so you really need to change out that water inside that pan and continue to water it all the way through the holidays.”

AFR says a large number of fires during the holidays are also caused by decorations like candles. Make sure those are on flat surfaces so they’re not tipping over – and keep them away from the tree, of course.