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- Turkey fryers can be deadly
- November 5th, 2011 2:02 PM
Thawed Butterball? Check.
Ingredients for stuffing prepared? Check.
Potatoes for mashing? Check.
Cranberries washed and on the boil? Check.
Fire extinguisher ready for use?… What?
While no one expects a home fire to occur on Thanksgiving, the number of people cooking at home during the holiday fuels the likelihood of a fire hazard, according to a recent report from the American Red Cross. In addition to this, the Red Cross reports that every two and a half hours someone is killed in a home fire. The Red Cross also estimates that every year 20,000 people are injured in a home fire.
If you don’t find this troubling enough, in 2010, claims data from State Farm Insurance revealed that during Thanksgiving, more cooking fires occur than any other day of the year. The report underscores the importance of exercising caution when cooking during the holidays by tracking the states with the highest number of insurance claims filed for cooking accidents on Thanksgiving.
The random nature of home fires and cooking accidents illustrates the value of adequate insurance coverage— especially when preparing for the holidays. Life insurance provides financial relief for your loved ones if a serious accident turns deadly during your holiday celebration.
Tipping the bird
The emphasis on Thanksgiving home fire prevention is heightened even more if you plan to deep fry your turkey this holiday. While this savory treat is a favorite of Martha Stewart and may delight your dinner guests, it may also send you and your loved ones to the emergency room and potentially burn down your home. In worst case scenarios it can also result in death. In either case, having homeowners and health insurance is essential to protecting your home and family from serious harm if an accident should occur.
Eddie Bain, investigation and prevention program director at the Illinois Fire Service Institute, says those who fry their turkey need to be extra careful.
“It will cause burns that are worse than fire because frying oil sticks to you,” says Bain. “It can burn an adult very badly, but a child could easily be covered from head to foot in oil splatter, resulting in potentially fatal burns.”
Children and pets should always be kept away from a turkey fryer when in use.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that people who deep fried their turkeys during the holiday cause $15 million in property damage annually due to home fires. Hot oil burns are often the culprit when it comes to the injury and death of adults and children.
What’s worse is that most injuries or death due to turkey fryers tend to be the result of human recklessness and error. Turkey deep fryers are often unstable and can easily tip over and should be watched closely throughout the cooking process. Also, it is not a good idea to deep fry your turkey indoors because the oil spatter or even an oil spill can easily catch a garage or home on fire. The Burn Institute, a non-profit health agency based in California warns that the lack of thermostat controls (causing the oil to overheat and eventually combust), using fryers in enclosed spaces or near wooden decks and fences, hot cooking pot lids and handles, and an inadequately thawed turkey leading to an explosion, are the most common causes of turkey fryer fires and burns.
Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a product safety commission assigned with certifying the safety of household appliances in the U.S., have yet to endorse or certify the safety of turkey fryers based on the design dangers they pose to those who use them. But, if you are still adamant about frying your turkey this holiday, the UL offers a detailed list of turkey fryer safety tips that you many find helpful.
This article was originally published by Life Quotes, Inc.
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