Wednesday, November 24, 2010

North Charleston Fire Department urges cooking safety for Thanksgiving

Thoughts this week are turning to turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings for many in the Lowcountry.  One way to cook the holiday feast is to use a turkey fryer. The North Charleston Fire Department urges residents to plan safety into the day.

Consider that 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.

For those who still are considering the deep frying method the Consumer Product Safety Commission urges all to monitor the temperature of the oil closely. If any smoke at all is noticed coming from a heating pot of oil, the burner should be turned off immediately because the oil is overheated. This is also true of all cooking with oil situations in the kitchen.

CPSC also reminds residents that there is a risk of injury resulting from splashing due to the cooking of partially frozen meats. Thoroughly thaw and dry ALL meats before cooking in hot oil.

When preparing to cook your turkey remember to follow the instructions that came with the fryer; these include making sure there is at least three feet of space between the liquid propane tank and fryer burner. Also, place the liquid propane gas tank and fryer so that any wind blows the heat of the fryer away from the gas tank. Then center the pot over the burner on the cooker. Completely thaw (USDA says 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds) and dry turkey before cooking. Partially frozen and/or wet turkeys can produce excessive hot oil splatter when added to the oil this causes a significant chance for fire or burn injuries as the water evaporates.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions to determine the proper amount of oil to add.

If those are not available:

  • Place turkey in pot
  • Fill with water until the turkey is covered by about 1/2 inch of water
  • Remove and dry turkey
  • Mark water level. Dump water, dry the pot, and fill with oil to the marked level.
  • Keep fryer in FULL VIEW while burner is on.
  • Place fryer in an open area AWAY from all walls, fences, or other structures.
  • Never use IN, ON, or UNDER a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or any structure that can catch fire.
  • Raise and lower food SLOWLY to reduce splatter and avoid burns.
  • COVER bare skin when adding or removing food.
  • Check the oil temperature frequently.
  • If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn gas supply OFF.
  • If a fire occurs, immediately call 911. DO NOT attempt to extinguish fire with water. 
Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Watch the November 23, 2010 City Council Meeting

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Download the Agenda

2010 North Charleston Christmas Events

To celebrate the holiday season, the City of North Charleston hosts the following public Christmas events during the first weekend in December.

Winter Wonderland

Thursday, December 2 and Friday, December 3 from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at Armory Park (5000 Lackawanna Boulevard). This free pre-school event provides young children an opportunity to visit Santa, participate in hands-on activities, including holiday arts & crafts, and take part in live performances and music. 

Live Performances
Thursday - Becky Becker of Becky’s Box of Puppets, helping children discover the joy of reading and weaving magical tales that come to life before your eyes are two of Becky's trademarks.
Friday – Julian Gooding, storyteller, takes you on an interactive journey through music, puppetry, and creative play.

For required pre-registration, contact the North Charleston Parks & Recreation Department at (843) 745-1028.

Breakfast with Santa

Saturday, December 4 from 8:00 am to 10:00 am at Felix C. Davis Community Center (4800 Park Circle). Breakfast with Santa commences the Christmas Festival and gives area children the opportunity to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. A hearty meal is provided. Tickets can be purchased Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm at the Felix C. Davis Community Center for $4.00 per person. To purchase tickets, contact the North Charleston Parks & Recreation Department at (843) 745-1028 or visit the Felix C. Davis Community Center.

Christmas Festival

Saturday, December 5 from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm around Park Circle with the Christmas Parade beginning at 6:00 pm. The Christmas Festival includes a Holiday Market with children activities craft vendors, food vendors, and live musical performances on three stages. The Christmas Parade begins at the corner of Montague and Mixson Avenues, proceeds down Montague, around Park Circle, and concludes at Armory Park. Immediately following the Christmas Parade, Mayor R. Keith Summey lights the City’s Christmas tree located outside the front entrance of the Felix C. Davis Community Center.

Christmas Festival Schedule
3:00 pmPolice will close traffic circle to vehicular traffic
4:00 - 5:30 pm - Children activities (jump castles, petting zoo, carriage rides)
4:00 - 6:00 pm - Performances prior to parade
6:00 - 7:00 pm - Parade / Mayor’s Tree Lighting
7:00 - 9:00 pm - Performances on all stages
9:00 pm - Road opens for traffic

Performances and Entertainment

Christmas lights and displays shine at Park Circle and on the eight exterior islands nightly from the beginning of December until New Years Day.

For pre-registration, ticket purchases, and general inquiries, contact the North Charleston Parks & Recreation Department at (843) 745-1028.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Project Free Entry - City unveils initiative to aid stranded motorists

Mayor R. Keith Summey along with Police Chief Jon R. Zumalt and Deputy Chief David Cheatle unveiled the city’s latest initiative to aide stranded motorists “Project Free Entry.” Through Project Free Entry officers will be able to assist residents that have locked keys in their vehicle at no cost. The lock out kit is known for its ease of use and simple design. Unlike older door entry devices, the Big Easy Lockout Kit enters the interior of the vehicle without working the interior mechanisms of the door.

Deputy Chief David Cheatle said, “This is a wonderful opportunity for us to assist citizens in a time of distress. I see this as a way for us to continue developing relationships with our residents at a most difficult time.” Eighteen officers are trained to use the Big Easy Lockout Tool Kit. The lockout kits will be strategically located with officers throughout the city.

Residents can call the city’s non-emergency phone line (843) 745-1015 to report a lockout. Officers will respond as practical as possible to render aide. Emergency calls will take priority over locked out incidents. The vehicle operator will be required to provide identification and sign a release of liability form.

Mayor Summey said, “It’s a good feeling for residents to know that they can count on the city and its police department to help out in a time of need. This is what makes North Charleston a great place to live, work, or play.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Project CLUE - Communities Lighting Up with Energy Efficiency

The goal of the project is to implement a lighting initiative aimed at helping communities illuminate their porch areas, while at the same time become familiar with greener living.  Many communities are dimly lit and inviting to the criminal element.

Program Objective
  • Distribute new CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs to residents.
  • Officers will issue light bulbs and literature at civic club meetings and to any resident that requests the bulb.
  • Contractors will donate time and supplies, free of charge, to residents requiring upgraded wiring for the CFL bulb.
Benefits to the Resident
  • Four times more efficient, late 10 times longer. 50-80% less energy than incandescent.
  • Uses 1/3 less energy (heat) therefore cost .02 cents daily to operate.
  • CFLs give high quality light and do not flicker or hum.
  • Saving electricity reduces carbon dioxide emission for pollution reduction.
  • Assists financially challenged residents.
  • New wiring for residents with a need supplied by professional electricians.

Benefits to the Police
  • Increased positive interaction with community members.
  • Deterrence of the criminal element in some inviting areas.
  • Bridging relationships with citizens
  • Increased visibility for any potential witnesses of crime.
Project CLUE Pilot Locations
  • Chicora Cherokee – Florida Street/Carlton Street
  • Glynn Terrace – Eva Street
  • Union Heights – Delaware Street/Forest Avenue
  • Charleston Farms – Read Street/Greenbay Street
  • Midland Park – Stall Road/South Kenwood
  • Dubois MHP
  • Dorchester Village MHP
  • Accabee – Filmore Street/Baker Street
  • Dorchester Terrace – South Allen
Project Coordinator
  • Lieutenant Joyce Smith