Statistically, Thanksgiving is the single worst day for fires, according to data from the National Fire Protection Association, with distractions being the leading cause of these fires.
To stay fire safe during the upcoming holiday, there are several key things to keep in mind:
- Flame prone items like aprons and towels should always be kept away from open flames and high heat
- Ensure all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly prior to the start of cooking
- Most importantly-PAY ATTENTION WHILE COOKING!
When the traditional Thanksgiving dinner is being prepared, there are normally more than the usual number of cooks, or helping hands, in the kitchen. While the intent is great, distractions can occur almost instantly. Some of the most common distractions include the doorbell or phone ringing and a new guest entering the room. Couple these potential distractions with the multi-tasking that it takes to prepare several dishes at once, and the likelihood of disaster increases significantly.
Deep Fried Turkey
One of the most recent trends in cooking the famous holiday bird is using a deep fryer. Many advocates declare a deep fried turkey is one of the most delicious ways to serve your Thanksgiving main course. Popularization of the deep fried turkey began when chef legends such as Paula Deen and Martha Stewart featured this alternative preparation method in cookbooks and on cooking shows.
While the results of a deep fried turkey can leave your guests speechless, it also can pose a serious safety threat if proper precautions are not taken (not to mention a trip to the emergency room!).
So Why Exactly Are Deep Fryers Dangerous?
- Deep fryers large enough to accommodate a full size turkey need to contain a minimum of 5 gallons of oil. These 5 gallons or more of oil need to be heated up to 350 scalding degrees. Since the deep fryers used for a one-time cook are only temporary units, they tend to not be the most sturdy and have a tenancy to tip over, spewing hot oil on everything in sight
- Overfilling the pot with too much oil can result in oil overflowing out of the unit when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot. This oil may hit the burner or flames causing a fire to engulf the entire fryer unit. Yikes!
- Without regulated thermostat controls, the fryer unit has the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion
- The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles can get dangerously hot, creating severe burn hazards
Safety Tips For Using A Deep Fryer
- Fryers should always be used outdoors, on a solid level surface a safe distance from buildings and flammable materials
- Never use a fryer on a wooden deck, under a patio cover, in a garage or enclosed space
- Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use or after use as the oil can remain hot for hours
- Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts and wear long sleeves and safety goggles to protect from splatter
- If a turkey fryer fire occurs, call 911 immediately
For more deep fryer safety tips, visit http://www.pbs.org/food/features/five-safety-tips-for-deep-frying-turkey/
If you do encounter a fire due to a deep fryer, or any other source, and need emergency cleanup services, visit our page for more information Fire Damage Restoration.