Deep fried turkey fires will cause more than $15 million in property damage to homes and other dwellings from deep fryers that get wildly out of control across the U.S. this Thanksgiving, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
The fires, ignited by deep fried turkey cookers of hot oil that quickly get out of control will burn down dozens of homes on Thanksgiving, but a few extra precautions to provide controls before frying that holiday bird could keep the day a happy one.
Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors on a flat stable surface, but not on a wooden deck and should be located a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials. Never leave a fryer unattended, as most units do not have thermostat controls and if not watched carefully the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire. Continue to exercise extreme caution after use, as the oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot for hours.
Having an extra pound or two of flour or baking soda on hand could help extinguish flames quickly if they get out of control, or covering the pot with a tight lid also works, if the fire is manageable.
Dousing water on an oil fire only helps to spread the flames, and get it out of control to more quickly burn down your house. Try explaining that to your insurance agent or adjustor.
An all-purpose fire extinguisher is the best option to have on hand when frying a bird, and can be purchased at any nearby hardware store for a cheap price to keep your state of mind while the family and relatives are around. Remember any fire can become unmanageable quickly, so if the fire increases call 911 for help immediately.
Remember whatever the reason you may choose to fry your next turkey, these safety precautions will keep your holiday celebrations from turning into a holiday disaster.