Thanksgiving day holds the record for being the most flammable day of the year. November is the number one month for grease and cooking related fires, and December is not far behind. Home fire claims jump 15% during the holiday season. South Carolina alone has had 16 fires from 2005 to 2012, as a result of turkey fryers!Injuries and property damage can put a damper on the holiday festivities, so stay safe and observe these turkey frying and cooking safety tips to avoid costly homeowners insurance claims. These cooking fire preventatives could be the difference between a safe holiday and a fire resulting in damage or loss of property or life.
Before the Cooking Begins
- Install new batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Test all fire preventative devices to be sure they function properly.
- Be sure to have a cooking and grease fire approved extinguisher handy in the kitchen.
Turkey Frying Safety Tips
Deep frying your turkey might sound like a delicious decision, but keep in mind that the average turkey fryer-related claim is almost $29,000. Before frying your bird this holiday season, keep this advice in mind:
- Fry outdoors away from the garage and patio. Keep a safe distance from any buildings or trees, and keep the fryer off any wooden structures, such as decks and patios.
- Properly thaw your turkey before frying.
- Avoid hot oil spillovers by filling the pot with cool oil, and then place the thawed turkey into the pot. From there, determine how much oil should be added or removed to avoid overfilling.
- If you add the turkey after the oil is heated, to prevent a flare-up, shut off the fuel source or flame when lowering the turkey into the hot oil.
- Never leave a hot turkey fryer unattended.
- Do not use ice or water to cool down oil or extinguish an oil fire.
- Keep an extinguisher approved for cooking and grease fires nearby.
Cooking Safety Tips
While you’re preparing your holiday meal, be mindful of what is happening in your kitchen.
- Stay alert when cooking. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drinks are prepared and carried.
- Keep flammable items, such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, towels and food packaging away from the stovetop and oven.
- Keep a fire extinguisher approved for cooking and grease fires nearby.