Grease Fires increase around Thanksgiving

Grease fires occur more on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. U.S. fire departments respond to more than 1,000 fires each year in which involves a deep fryer. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), deep fryer grease fires result in more than $15 million in property damage each year. Hot oil splatter can cause severe burns to an adult or life-threatening injuries to a child.

Eight Ways to Prevent Thanksgiving Grease Fires

  • Never leave the portable deep fryer unattended
  • Don’t put too much oil in the fryer pot – If the cooking pot has too much oil, the oil may spill out of the pot when you lower the turkey into the pot. Oil can hit the burner and cause a fire. Make sure you follow the owner’s manual when putting oil into the pot.
  • Thaw turkey before putting into the oil – Frozen or partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover and may result in a fire. Make sure your turkey is thawed correctly and slowly lower it into the pot to prevent oil from splashing.
  • Practice safe cooking don’t keep fryer is too close to structures – A lot of grease fires involving a fryer start in a garage or patio. Cook outdoors and maintain a safe distance from any buildings and keep your deep fryer off any wooden structures such as decks and patios.
  • Oil and water don’t mix – When ice comes into contact with hot oil, it can cause bubbles to pop and spray hot oil or spill over, causing a fire hazard.
  • Don’t leave Fryers unattended – Frying involves cooking with a combustible medium, namely the cooking oil or grease. Many frying units do not have thermostat controls, and if left unwatched, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  • Preparation – Keep the fryer on a flat non-flammable surface to prevent it from tipping.
  • Be Prepared – Keep an extinguisher approved for cooking or grease fire nearby and be prepared to call 911 if the fire gets out of control.

Keep your kids and pets safe from Grease Fires 

Keep children or pets away from the fryer while in use. The lid and handles on the sides of the cooking pot get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards. Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching the pot. Remember that the pot will remain hot hours after the turkey has been cooked. Also, indoors make sure that your smoke detector is on and working.

Finally, more safety information available on Michigan Thanksgiving safety tips.  Remember to practice safe cooking when using grease for cooking.