Frying the turkey for Thanksgiving has become increasingly popular over other, more traditional, turkey-cooking methods. Are you considering frying your turkey bird for this upcoming Thanksgiving meal? If so, you may also want to consider the risks associated with this trending and flavorful frying technique.
In fact, more than risky—the frying method is considered so dangerous the National Fire Protections Association (“NFPA”) has strongly urged against the use of turkey fryers and published this video to demonstrate the hazards they present:
Aside from frying method dangers, the Thanksgiving holiday itself presents an opportunity for additional kitchen and home perils related to cooking. According to the NFPA, “Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving [then] Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.”
In a study recently conducted by the NFPA, it was reported that of the 170,000 plus home structure fires in 2011-2015 almost half—approximately 47%—were caused by cooking. The same study reported unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking related fires.
The kitchen is generally considered the heart and center of the home, it is the place where friends and family gather, share stories and a hearty meal—especially on a day like Thanksgiving. Be advised, while the kitchen may be the center of your holiday festivities, it is also the place where most fires start. This holiday season, keep your family safe by practicing a few of these safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop—and keep an eye on it;
- The NFPA recommends keeping children at least 3 feet away from a hot stove;
- Turn pot and pan handles toward the back of the stove to prevent people from knocking into a handle and spilling scalding food onto themselves;
- Keep curtains, towels, and pot holders away from hot surfaces;
- Store solvents and flammable cleaners away from heat sources.
In the unfortunate event a fire starts, despite your preventative steps, the Consumer Product Safety Commission further recommends taking these actions:
- Call the fire department (911) immediately;
- If grease or oil in a cooking pan catches fire, do not pick up and carry the flaming pan outside; this can make matters worse. Instead, slide a lid over flames to smother them. Then turn off the heat and leave the lid in place until the pan cools;
- Extinguish other food fires with baking soda and plenty of it;
- For an oven or broiler fire, leave the oven door closed and turn off the heat to smother the flames;
- Never use water or flour on any cooking fire;
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Make sure you have the right type.
With these safety tips and preventative measures, your Thanksgiving holiday is sure to be a safe success!