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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With Thanksgiving less than a week away, the Nashville Fire Department said now is the time to start defrosting your turkey.

The department is not giving cooking advice, but trying to prevent fires.

The Nashville Fire Department demonstrated what happens when you put a frozen turkey in hot oil on Friday morning.

Using a long metal pole, firefighters lowered a frozen turkey into a 5-gallon pot, filled to the brim with hot oil.

Firefighters did several things wrong to show how quickly a fire can spark.

Chief Scott Lively, who leads the fire training academy, said you should never put a frozen turkey into hot oil. The bird must be completely defrosted because a partial-defrosted turkey can still ignite a fire.

Another fire hazard is putting too much oil in the pot. Chief Lively says when putting oil in the pot, consider how much it will rise when you add the turkey. For that reason, Chief Lively says there should be no more than 3 gallons of oil in a 5-gallon pot.

If you plan on frying a turkey, make sure you do it outside and away from your house. Chief Lively says don’t do it in your garage or on a deck. Make sure the pot is on solid ground where it can’t easily be knocked over.