Turkey frying becomes more popular every year, but so do homeowners claims from disasters that can follow.
Thanksgiving is one of the most important times of the year for many American families, and while some stick to the traditional oven roasted turkey dinner from one year to the next, homeowners insurance news statistics have shown that deep frying is rising in popularity and, unfortunately, in fires and burns.
This year, the insurance industry is hoping that homeowners will take added precautions to safely deep fry turkeys.
Deep frying a turkey is a flavorful alternative to oven roasting and while many families adore this yearly opportunity to indulge, it is extremely important to take the right precautions in order to avoid becoming another insurance news headline. This method can rapidly lead to a fire and/or to burns and other types of serious injuries, if the right care is not taken.
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has reported that on Thanksgiving every year, there are almost 4,300 fires that occur on Thanksgiving day alone. These cause an average of 15 deaths and nearly $27 million in damage to property.
Insurance news from 2009 through 2011 shows cooking leads to 72.4 percent of Thanksgiving fires.
Comparatively, the average day for the rest of the year sees cooking as the culprit behind home fires only 46 percent of the time. In fact, it states on the official USFA website that “Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.” In addition, it also pointed out that “Frying food is the greatest risk of cooking fires.”
The USDA statistics show that 67 percent of home cooking fires begin when the food itself, or when cooking materials catch fire. Moreover, 55 percent of injuries from home cooking fires occur when people attempt to put the fires out, themselves.
This year, the insurance industry and the USDA have each issued safety tips to make sure that deep frying a turkey will lead to a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration for American families, instead of a terrible catastrophe. They include the following:
• Take the time to actually read the user’s manual for the turkey fryer and follow the recommended steps for stet-up and safety.
• Never try to deep fry a turkey that is frozen or only partially thawed. The hot oil will burst and splatter if mixed with water. A bird must be fully thawed before frying.
• Remember that a turkey will displace the level of the oil. By using too much oil, adding the turkey will cause it to overflow and spill out of the pot onto the burner. This can rapidly cause the unit to be engulfed in flames.
• Never leave the fryer unattended. Overheating and other sources of ignition can happen in the blink of an eye.
• Keep children, pets, and groups of people away from the fryer. It should never be located in the center of the area where everyone is socializing.
• Use proper protection, particularly for hands. Lids and handles will heat up to the point that burns can happen when touched even for an instant.
• Always have a fully charged all-purpose fire extinguisher on hand. An oil fire will not be extinguished by water. It will only spread. A fire extinguisher is the best option.
• Never deep fry a turkey inside a home, a garage, or on a porch or deck. This type of cooking must occur outside, away from structures, trees, walls, and fences.
The goal of these tips is to improve the homeowners insurance news for Thanksgiving 2014 and to ensure that this holiday will be a celebration worth being thankful.