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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fire Safe Cooking Holiday Season

This week, on Thursday, is Thanksgiving Day with the holiday cooking starting across the country as well as marking the start to the holiday season. It is also a time to be reminded and encourage while cooking to take extra precautions and fire safety measures to prevent any kitchen fires from starting. It is hope that this Thanksgiving will be as safe as it was last year.

Fire statistics show that firefighters have responded to a number of kitchen fires each Holiday Season in years past. It is often the case that while the holiday meal is being put together the cook’s attention is diverted from the cooking thus raising the risk of a fire to start. The extra people in the home while the holiday meal is cooking can add to the confusion with the chance of the cook leaving something on the stove too long. The next thing you know, you have a kitchen fire.


Turkey Fryers are often the source of cooking-related fires when they are used to prepare a holiday season meal. From YouTube® here’s a very important example of what could happen if a turkey fryer is used improperly:

U.S. fire departments are responding to more than 1,000 fires each year when a deep fryer is involved. The National Fire Association says deep fryers fires can result in more than $15 million in property damage each year and hot oil splatter can cause serious burns to an adult or life-threatening to a child.

Using turkey fryers this year to cook a turkey you most take several fire safety steps to insure their safety. Always use the turkey fryer outside and NOT in the garage or house. Make sure the turkey is completely defrosted and dried off before putting in the hot oil. Forgetting to simply drying off the turkey will result in the stating of hot oil splashing and then things begin to catch fire. The BIGGEST DANGER when using the turkey deep-fryer is when it’s not thawed or dried correctly, which can cause the grease or hot oil to splash or thaw. The YouTube® Turkey Fryer Fire Demonstration, presented by William Shatner & State Farm® demonstrated and showed the result of not following proper, very simple, fire safety precautions.

A full charged fire extinguisher should be kept near the door of the kitchen as well as near where you are using the turkey fryer outside. The fire extinguisher is to be used to fight small fires, when they are just started, and one should always escape from the fire area if the fire gets out of had where it cannot be put out with portable fire extinguish. When there is a fire, don’t hesitate to call 911, and call before fighting the fire or have someone call when you are using the fire extinguisher.

As the popularity of turkey fryers increase, more people are at risk for injury or property damage as information from State Farms Insurance states.

Fire Safety does not stop just because it’s the holiday season, and we need to keep this in mind as we celebrating. Remember that one of the leading causes of home fires is unattended cooking. When you are cooking, stay in the kitchen, stay with that turkey fryer. If you have to leave, for whatever reason, make sure you turn the appliance off. If there’s a pot on the stove, move it from one heat element after turning element off to another cooler element. If you ever have a pot of grease or hot oil catch fire, cover it with a lid, turn off the switch to it, and NEVER NEVER put a grease/hot oil fire with water as that will result only making a bad fire into a worse fire.

A little extra attention during the hectic holiday season goes a long way to keeping family and guests fire safe.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

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