Tips for fire safety when cooking this Thanksgiving

(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Before inviting loved ones over and spending the holiday saying thank you and diving into a festive celebration, Pennsylvania officials are reminding people across the state to take precautions this year.

According to a press release from the Wolf administration, many Thanksgiving home fires result from frying accidents because they pose significant risks to personal safety and property without proper safety precautions.

According to the US Fire Administration, the average number of reported residential fires on Thanksgiving Day is more than double (2.3 times higher) than the average number of residential fires on all other days. On Thanksgiving, there are an average of 2,300 home fires nationwide, causing $26 million in deaths, injuries and property damage.

While frying is a tasty alternative to the oven roasting method, Acting Pennsylvania Fire Department Commissioner Charles McGarvey advises the latter, saying deep fryers and inattentive cooking are listed as leading causes of Thanksgiving fires.

“Cookfires remain a persistent and all-too-common cause of home fires, resulting in significant damage and expense to those who experience it,” McGarvey said. “These incidents peak every year around the Thanksgiving holiday.”

Acting Insurance Commissioner Michael Humphrey urged residents to exercise caution when cooking to avoid potentially dangerous situations and avoid costly repairs for a happy and safe Thanksgiving this year.

“On this holiday as we gather to celebrate with loved ones, the top priority should be the safety of you, your family and your home,” Humphreys said. “In the event of an unfortunate accident, homeowners and renters insurance will cover certain damages, but it’s best to follow safety guidelines to make sure the worst doesn’t happen first.”

“As a healthcare professional, I also want to emphasize the importance of ensuring our safety while we prepare our upcoming holiday meals, because foodborne illnesses are unfortunately very common – but fortunately, with the right measures, they are preventable,” said Dr. Denise Johnson. “I encourage residents to clean, separate, cook and refrigerate their food to prevent themselves and others from becoming ill.”

Here are some helpful tips for deep frying a turkey:

  • Read the turkey fryer owner’s manual thoroughly for tips on proper setup and safety
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before frying (hot oil and ice/water don’t mix)
  • use the right amount of oil; Overcrowded fryers increase the likelihood that oil will spurt out of the pot and hit the burner, causing flames to engulf the entire appliance
  • Never leave the fryer unattended; Many fryers lack thermostats to prevent overheating
  • Don’t fry your turkey in your garage, on your porch or patio, or inside your house
  • have a general-purpose fire extinguisher nearby; Never use water to extinguish an oil fire
  • Keep children and pets away from all cooking surfaces
  • use appropriate hand protection; The lid and handles of the saucepan become dangerously hot and there is a risk of burns
  • Make sure that full attention is given to the cooking. do not consume alcohol while cooking

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