The Overland Park Fire Department made a mannequin challenge video that pointed out how easy it is to start a fire unintentionally on Thanksgiving.
So easy, in fact, that Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires across the country, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
The message to take away from the mannequin challenge video is simple: Carefully move into action when necessary and don’t leave your stove unattended, said Jason Rhodes, spokesman for the department.
Data show that from 2011 to 2013, about 2,100 residential building fires were reported to fire departments on the cooking-centric holiday and caused an estimated 10 deaths, 50 injuries and $28 million in property loss.
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On average, there are more than double the amount of reported fires on Thanksgiving compared with all other days of the year. And the most common factor in Thanksgiving Day fires has been unattended cooking.
Here are a few dangers the U.S. Fire Administration and FEMA pointed out when it comes to deep frying turkeys:
▪ Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.
▪ An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and a partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot.
▪ Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire.
▪ Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire.
▪ The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles can get dangerously hot.
The Overland Park Fire Department’s mannequin challenge video was filmed last week in one of the employee’s homes.
Rhodes said the video allows the department to get its message of safety out to the public in a way that might otherwise be ignored.
“We used a popular trend to convey our message,” said Rhodes. “It’s an entertaining way to get our message across.”
The Star’s Monty Davis contributed to this report.