Thanksgiving is one of our nation’s most cherished holidays. But it’s also one of the most dangerous times of the year for kitchen fires — and the recent trend toward deep-frying turkeys is one of the most common culprits.
“Deep-frying a turkey is a memorable holiday experience, but large amounts of oil and the festive nature of large groups can create a deadly situation,” Lindeen said. “I hope all Montanans will have fun with friends and family, enjoy great food and watch a little football, but also take these simple steps to make sure the holiday is fun for all and that you avoid an insurance claim.”
While deep-frying is a fast, dramatic and delicious ways to prepare a turkey, an absence of proper care can also spell disaster.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the frequency of kitchen fires triples on Thanksgiving Day over the daily average, causing millions of dollars in property damage – and several deaths – every year.
Among the recommendations from FEMA and insurance industry experts:
• Avoid deep-frying inside, on or near wooden decks, near structures or in garages.
• Make sure your fryer is stable; fryers can tip over, spilling and igniting hot oil.
• Don’t fill the fryer with cooking oil; overfilled fryers can easily splash or overflow when the turkey is added.
• Completely thaw your turkey before cooking; Ice on insufficiently turkeys can splatter hot oil when the bird is submerged, causing injuries or igniting.
• Take care not to overheat the oil; overheated oil can ignite even without exposure to direct flame.
• Remember, even a small amount of oil on a burner can cause a large fire, and even small drops of hot oil can cause severe burns.
• Keep a fire extinguisher handy; pouring water on a grease fire will only make it spread further.
• Enforce a “safe zone” to keep children away from hot stoves, ovens and deep fryers.
• Don’t mix drinking alcohol and cooking with hot oil.
To all Montanans, from all of us at the Office of the Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance – Happy Thanksgiving.