The kitchen is the heart of the home especially during Thanksgiving. Entertaining friends and family with lots of other potential distractions are all factors that can contribute to the increased likelihood of home cooking fires. According to the NFPA, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, with more than three times the daily average for incidents. Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor to these fires. Cooking causes half (53%) of all reported home fires and nearly two of every five (38%) home fire injuries, and it is a leading cause of home fire deaths(18%).
The Bullhead City Fire Department would like to offer the following tips and recommendations for cooking safety this Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
• Stay in the kitchen
while cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
• Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot, and kids should stay 3 feet away.
• Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy, or coffee could cause severe burns.
• Keep knives out of the reach of children.
• Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer, or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
• Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
• Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
TURKEY FRYER SAFETY:
The use of turkey fryers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries, and the destruction of property.
· The Dangers of Turkey Fryers:
· Hot oil may splash or spill during the cooking.
Contact between hot oil and skin could result in serious injury.
· A hot oil spill can happen with fryers designed for outdoor use using a stand. The fryer could tip over or collapse, causing the hot oil to spill. Newer countertop units using a solid base appear to reduce this risk. NFPA does not believe the risks of either type of turkey fryer to be acceptable because of the large amount of hot oil involved and the speed and severity of burns.
· In deep frying, oil is heated to temperatures of 350° Fahrenheit or more. Cooking oil is combustible. If it is heated above its cooking temperature, its vapors can ignite.
· Propane-fired turkey fryers must be used outdoors. They are very popular for Thanksgiving. Many parts of the country may have rain or snow at this time of year. If rain or snow hits the hot cooking oil, the oil may splatter or turn to steam, leading to burns.
· Turkeys must be completely thawed before placing them in the fryer because a partially thawed turkey will cause the oil to splatter, causing serious burns.
· The fryers use a lot of oil, about five gallons. Considering the size and weight of the turkey, extreme caution must be taken when placing and removing the turkey from the fryer to be sure it is not dropped back into the fryer, splattering the oil on the chef.
Turkey Frying Safety
Deep-frying turkeys have become popular in recent years. This cooking method has a lot of risks. Turkey fryers get hot all over, so they need to be handled with great care and only by an adult. They can tip over, spilling hot cooking oil. Partially frozen turkeys placed into hot fryers will cause the oil to splatter. If fryers are overfilled, the hot oil can spill over the side when the turkey is added. Even a small amount of oil on a hot burner can start a fire. If you deep-fry a turkey, place the fryer outside on a flat surface that can’t burn, such as cement. Place the fryer several feet from anything that can catch fire. Don’t let children or pets come anywhere near it. An adult should watch the fryer while it cooks and use a fryer with thermostat controls. Without these controls, the oil can heat to the point of catching fire. Thaw the turkey completely before cooking it so ice crystals won’t splatter the hot oil. Use potholders and oven mitts when handling the turkey and always remember safety first.