Last Thanksgiving, while most of us were enjoying time with our family, virtually the entirety of the New Bedford Fire Department and first responders, along with mutual aid from Acushnet, Dartmouth, and Fairhaven, were responding to a raging fire that had engulfed multiple homes.

Thanks to the heroics of our first responders, there were no causalities; however, 27 people were displaced. Sadly, this fire was preventable. The likely culprit of the blaze was a turkey fryer which was operated in a fundamentally unsafe way. Turkey fryers are a popular way to prepare the centerpiece of the traditional Thanksgiving meal, but are are a common cause of house fires if not operated safely.

With this in mind, I had Anthony Poente of of the New Bedford Fire Department join me on-air to talk about fire safety. Many moons ago, Poente was a football coach of a dominant Bishop Stang team that featured a future talk radio personality. More importantly, he is a longtime member of the New Bedford Fire Department and has decades of experience teaching both fighting fires and teaching kids across the city the importance of fire safety. He gave us some important tips for the holidays.

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For example, when you're using a turkey fryer, make sure that the turkey that you are frying is fully thawed and not frozen. Make sure that it is a safe distance away from your home (20-25 feet, but check the regulations in your town to see what distance they require), and do not operate the fryer on a deck or porch, regardless of the weather outside.

Another interesting tip Poente gave us is, in case of a power outage, it's of course important to keep your house stocked with flashlights and batteries, but also make sure you have a non-electric can opener so that you can access the canned food that you may have in your pantry.

Poente is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to keeping your home safe for the holidays and beyond. We talked about fire safety, the New Bedford Fire Department Toys for Tots drive, and took calls from the audience. You can listen to the full conversation here:

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