Ask Arlington: How to Make Cooking Activities Safe During the Holidays
By Office of Communication
Posted on November 10, 2021, November 10, 2021

As we approach Thanksgiving, people will enjoy delicious meals and the activities associated with their preparation. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking activities and equipment. In the latest episode of Ask Arlington, Arlington Fire Lieutenant Jasiel Zapata provides some guidelines and tips to keep all safe during this time.

What can I do to make my cooking activities safe?

Lt. Zapata: “Never leave your cooking unattended. You should always monitor what you are cooking in the event something goes wrong. Keep children out of the kitchen to prevent them from being exposed to knives, electrical sources, or heat sources. Make sure you have properly installed and functioning smoke detectors in the area.”

What can I do if I have a small fire while cooking?

Lt. Zapata: “Always use extreme caution. If in doubt evacuate to a safe area. If applicable close the door behind as you leave the room and dial 911. If cooking on a stovetop, you can slide a lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. If cooking in an oven, keep the door to the oven closed and turn off the heat. Once again always use extreme caution.”

Should I try deep frying my turkey?

Lt. Zapata: “Frying in general is more dangerous than other types of cooking because it usually involves a large amount of cooking oil which is combustible. Both the National Fire Protection Association and Underwriters Laboratories discourage the use of open-flame fryers. Select a safer method to prepare your turkey. Keeping in mind a few simple fire safety guidelines during this holiday period will ensure you and your loved ones stay safe when cooking.”

Click here to learn more about holiday cooking safety tips.

Residents can also participate in the North Central Texas Council of Government's 2021 Holiday Grease Roundup from Nov. 22, 2021 through Jan. 10, 2022. 

In Arlington, receptacles for used cooking oil will be available as part of the holiday roundup at the following locations, staring Nov. 22: 

  • Woodland West Park at 3200 Norwood Lane
  • Bob Cooke Park at 2025 Craig Hanking Drive

Visit to find out more!

Food being placed in an oven.

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