Joint Base MDL Fire Emergency Services Thanksgiving Safety Tips

By William J. Ferguson | Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Fire Department | Nov. 22, 2019


The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving. Kids love to be involved in holiday preparations. Safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day when there is a lot of activity and people at home.

Safety tips

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the 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.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit a candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.


    The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil.

    These turkey fryers use a substantial quantity of cooking oil at high temperatures and units currently available for home use pose a significant danger that hot oil will be released at some point during the cooking process. The use of turkey fryers by consumers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries and the destruction of property. NFPA urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments, such as grocery stores, specialty food retailers, and restaurants for the preparation of the dish or consider a new type of "oil-less" turkey fryer."



The following safety precautions should be followed for individuals that prefer the use of turkey fryers.

  • Use outdoors only at least 25 ft. from buildings
  • Ensure you pre-measure with water how much oil you will need
  • Never use on wooden decks or in garages
  • Ensure turkey is thawed and dried before cooking
  • Have a ABC fire extinguisher ready and know how to use it
  • Do not leave unattended
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions

To find out more information about Thanksgiving safety tips, please contact the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Fire Prevention office at 609-754-2451. The Joint Base Fire Department wishes you all a happy holiday season.