Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey is warning North Carolinians about the dangers associated with frying turkeys this holiday season.
“Thanksgiving is one of the best meals of the year, but the dangers of turkey frying can put you and your family at risk,” said Commissioner Causey. “Oil-frying fires can happen quickly, and they are hard to extinguish.”
Unattended cooking is the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries in the United States.
Turkey fryer fires cause an average of five deaths, 60 injuries and more than $15 million in property damage each year.
Thanksgiving Day is the peak day for fires caused by cooking with approximately 2,000 home fires occurring on this day.
Turkey frying has become extremely popular during the holiday season. Outdoor, gas-fueled turkey fryers are discouraged unless used by a properly trained professional. A better alternative is to use newer turkey fryers, which are powered by TRU-Infrared technology, and require no oil.
The Office of State Fire Marshal offers the following items of information to consider when planning your safe Thanksgiving holiday:
♦ Hot oil can spill or splash onto the flame, igniting a fire.
♦ Fryers designed for outdoor use with or without a stand are prone to collapse.
♦ Cooking oil, if heated beyond its cooking temperature (375 degrees), can ignite.
♦ Oil inside a turkey cooker pot, can stay dangerously hot for hours after use.
♦ Turkey fryers should not be used under a garage, deck, breezeway, porch, barn or any structure that can catch fire.
♦ Frozen, or partially frozen turkeys, will cause hot oil to splatter or produce hot steam, which leads to burns.
♦ NEVER use water to extinguish a grease fire!