HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
If you’re among the thousands of Americans planning on frying your Thanksgiving turkey, you owe it to yourself and your family to learn about the risks of this popular, yet dangerous, holiday tradition.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the number of cooking fires in the U.S. triples each Thanksgiving Day, making the holiday the most hazardous day when it comes to household fires. Fire departments across the country report that most cooking calls occur between 11am and 4pm, just as folks are preparing their festive meals.
Thanksgiving Day fires are more than just a minor inconvenience – victims are left with devastating personal injuries, extensive property damage and in some cases, people even perish in these preventable fires. Between 2009 and 2011, FEMA reports that residential Thanksgiving Day fires resulted in “5 deaths, 25 injuries and $28 million in property loss”.
So what makes frying your festive bird so dangerous? Here’s a few of the reasons why:
- Cooking oil is highly combustible, and it can be difficult to control the temperature of the large vat of oil needed to cook a turkey – this can lead to a spontaneous, uncontrollable fire in your fryer.
- Frozen or partially-thawed turkeys can cause the hot oil to flare up suddenly when the turkey is submerged; the same thing can happen if it’s raining or snowing while using an outdoor fryer.
- People often over-fill the fryer with oil, causing hot oil to spill out onto the flames below the pot once the turkey is inserted into the vessel – this creates an intensely hot, uncontrollable blaze that spreads rapidly.
- The sides and lid of the fryer can become white-hot, leading to severe contact burns.
- Many outdoor fryers are perched on precarious stands that can be easily tipped if bumped.
- Most people rarely use a large, open deep fryer – this unfamiliarity with the equipment often combines with fatigue, stress or alcohol consumption, leading to serious accidents.
- Turkey fryer fires can be deceiving – according to the U.S. Fire Administration, 55 percent “of home cooking fire injuries happen when people try to fight the fire themselves”.
So if you’re planning on giving your festive bird the hot-oil treatment this holiday season, be sure to purchase a high-quality fryer (preferably one with a temperature control feature) and take the time to familiarize yourself with it’s safe operation.
Better yet, why not roast your bird instead? You’ll reduce your risk of becoming yet another Thanksgiving Day statistic, and both you and your insurance agent will be happy!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM EVERYONE AT FRANK E NEAL & CO., INC.!
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission – http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/News-Releases/2014/Stand-By-Your-Pan-Cook-Safely-This-Thanksgiving-to-Prevent-Kitchen-Fires-/
FEMA/U.S. Fire Administration -http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/snapshot_thanksgiving.pdf