Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Safety

According to the US Fire Administration it is estimated that 4,300 fires occur on Thanksgiving causing nearly $27 million dollars in property damage and 15 deaths. The cause of most of these fires is deep frying turkeys which is becoming more and more popular.

Although it is strongly advised to use alternative cooking methods, if you must fry a turkey this Thanksgiving, please follow these safety tips to protect yourself and your home:

  • Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.
  • Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.
  • Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  • Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.
  • To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.
  • The National Turkey Federation (NTF) recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.
  • Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help. 
Under no circumstances should you ever fry a turkey in your garage, and since this is one of the most common places turkey fryer fires start we will send you off with a little bit of garage code trivia! Did you know:

  • Garages must be separated from the main residence by ½” gyp bd or 5/8” Type X gyp bd for rooms above a garage.
  • Doors opening from garages directly into sleeping areas are not permitted.
  • Doors leading into you home per code must either be 20 minute fire resistance rated, solid wood or solid core steel doors.
  • There are minimum garage size requirements set by your local zoning codes or design standards. 

Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving! 

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