The Union Recorder

November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving burn safety tips

From staff reports
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that between 2009 and 2011, there were about 1,300 cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day alone compared to an average of 400 cooking fires per day during the same time period. Practicing extra caution on Thanksgiving might be worth the extra effort.

Here are a few helpful hints: 

•  Cook on the back burners of the stove, and make sure all pot handles are turned inward so children cannot come into contact with them. Appliances that get hot, like toaster ovens, should also be well out of a child's reach.

• Turn off all appliances if you leave the kitchen, even if you are leaving for just a few minutes.

• Do the most preparation and cooking on your own before Thanksgiving Day's kitchen traffic.

• Keep items like potholders and food containers away from stove eyes and other hot surfaces.

• Makes sure all appliances are being used appropriately. 

• Keep the handles of pots and pans turned inward on the stove.

• Use timers to track cooking times.

Another common cause of Thanksgiving burns is accidents that occur when people try to deep-fry a turkey. The accidents usually occur when people over-fill the pot with oil. When the turkey is placed into the pot, the oil can spill over the side and into the flame. It only takes a small amount of oil on the burner to cause a large fire. 

Among the other ways to stay safe while deep frying a turkey:

• Make sure the deep fryer has a thermostat to regulate the temperature of the oil

• Use care when touching the handles of the pot

• The fryer should be used on a well-ventilated, level, outdoor surface.

• Make sure the pot is never left unattended, and children and pets are kept at a safe distance.

• Check the turkey to make sure they are not partially frozen and do not have any excess water on them. The water can cause hot oil to splatter. 

• Turkeys should be less than 12 lbs., and 8 to 10 lbs. turkeys are often the most appropriate size.

• Use only peanut, canola or safflower oils in the fryer.

• Slowly lower the turkey into the pot to avoid spillage.

• Make sure a fire extinguisher is nearby, just in case an accident occurs. Water should never be used to try to extinguish a grease or oil fire. Always call 911 in the event of a fire.

• Remember that it may take several hours for the oil in a deep fryer to cool.

• Avoid excessive drinking when using a deep-fryer.

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