Even though Thanksgiving is still more than a month away, it’s never too early to talk about the dangers of cooking on holidays, specifically Thanksgiving. “An estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated average of 5 deaths, 25 injuries, and $21 million in property loss” – according to FEMA. Burns are the most common, yet avoidable injuries people sustain on Thanksgiving Day.
You can make sure this Thanksgiving Day holiday your family enjoys a great time and stays safe by following a few simple tips:
Watch Your Bird
What’s cooking? I don’t know, you tell me! If you’re not in the kitchen overseeing preparation at all times, chances for fires increase significantly.
Keep it Clean
If you are the chef extraordinaire on Thanksgiving Day and tend to manage the entire kitchen on your own, more power to you! However, if all of that effort turns your kitchen into a movie scene from Mrs. Doubtfire’s kitchen, consider asking for help to keep your kitchen clean and organized. Many fires start from a flammable object catching on fire in a messy kitchen. At the very least, keep your cooking station clear of wooden utensils, potholders and paper towels, and wipe up any grease whenever you can. Grease fires are some of the most common types of fires during the holidays.
Give Your Turkey a Break
No, I’m not suggesting you eat something else, but rather let your turkey thaw and dry completely before placing into a deep fryer. Poorly thawed or wet turkeys can cause grease fires that burn out of control in mere seconds.
Don’t Use Too Much Oil in the Fryer
Overfilled oil spills when you dip a huge turkey in it, causing instant fire upon contact with open flame. Be sure to measure the correct amount of oil prior to cooking.
Keep Your Fryer Away from Everything Else
It may be tempting to cook on a patio or near the house where it’s easier to get in and out (especially when it’s a bit rainy outside), but this is always a bad idea. If a fire breaks out from any of the mishaps mentioned above, your house, patio, garage or what have you can catch on fire very quickly. Do yourself and everyone else you love a favor and keep that fryer away from any sort of structure or flammable object, you’ll be very thankful when you see that flame of inferno rage.
Don’t Let the Oil Splash You
When frying a turkey, oil can easily splash onto open skin. Wear protective clothing to avoid splash burns.
Plan for Fun, Prepare for the Worst
Thanksgiving is a great holiday to spend together with family and you deserve to enjoy this day. Just remember that even when everything is done by the rules, accidents do happen. Play it safe and keep a fire extinguisher nearby just in case. Check the label to see that the fire extinguisher is approved for putting out grease fires. A ruined turkey lasts for a day, while a ruined life … well you get it.
Even though it’s not unheard of turkey fryers malfunctioning in product liability cases, and burn injuries sustained as a result of those malfunctions, Thanksgiving Day accidents typically occur as a result of human error. Be prepared, act smart and avoid most types of injuries associated with this wonderful holiday.