SAN DIEGO — Insurance agents call Thanksgiving the biggest day for kitchen fires with accidents causing some tens of thousands of dollars in losses.
"Any time that there's moisture and oil coming together, it can be volatile. You have a potential for it to boil over, come in contact with the flame that's heating the oil, and immediately, you have combustion,” said State Farm insurance agent Fred Shadlow.
A fireball shot up fast as the Phoenix Fire Department demonstrated this week what can happen if you try to fry a frozen turkey. In kitchens across America, the heat will be on for Thanksgiving dinner.
"Kitchen fires are always hitting the peak at Thanksgiving because more people are cooking on Thanksgiving than any other holiday," Shadlow said.
At Havana Grill on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, owner Sandra Cardet shows what not do when cooking.
"We can get flames, very high flames right under your exhaust hood in your home kitchen,” said Cardet, who was born in Cuba before becoming an actress in Los Angeles and then a restaurant owner.
Cardet’s kitchen in Clairemont has multiple chefs in at a time whipping up authentic Cuban dishes including their classic Cubano sandwich of sliced roasted pork, smoked ham and pickles covered in butter.
She says the trick is take your time and check your heat levels before a fire starts.
"Don't panic and don't throw water on it, don't take the pan and put in in the sink under water, that's the worst thing you can do the best thing is to have a lid handy," Cardet said.
Cardet’s State Farm insurance agent Fred Shadlow says Thanksgiving is the peak day for kitchen fires with the average claim being greater than $48,000 each.
“Always designate someone to stay by the stove while it's being used and keep the kids away,” said Shadlow whose office is in Del Cerro.
Shadlow says to keep flammable things away from the stove, have a fire extinguisher close by and make sure all your smoke detectors are working.
Fire officials always advise that your turkey needs to be fully thawed before frying.