Thanksgiving day is a busy day for insurance companies due to the increase in the number of home insurance claims homeowners file for cooking-related fires. It's a day to count your blessings, but if you aren't careful when cooking the bird for dinner, a day of family togetherness can turn into a day of loss, particularly if you're deep-frying your turkey. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) stresses the word "caution" when using turkey fryers, as the cost of property losses reported due to turkey fryer-related incidents is estimated at about $7 million.
Why Deep-Frying Your Thanksgiving Bird Is Dangerous
Deep-frying the Thanksgiving turkey is a popular option these days, although it can be a dangerous one if you aren't careful. While deep-frying a turkey takes less time to cook than roasting the bird, you can have a grease fire on your hands if the oil gets too hot or spills over and touches an open flame.
Grease fires can spread quickly and since the fuel is hot cooking oil, these types of fires aren't always easy to get under control.
How to Deep-Fry Your Bird Safely
Locate the fryer pot a safe distance away from your home, wooden deck, and other wooden structures. Although it's safer to cook outdoors rather than in your garage or out on your brick or concrete patio, you still have to keep the pot away from flammables.
Avoid putting too much cooking oil in the fryer pot. You don't want oil spilling over and catching fire. Determine how much oil you'll need beforehand by doing a trial run.
Put the turkey in the empty pot and then fill the pot with water until it covers the bird. Mark the pot so that you'll how much cooking oil to put in when you're ready to deep-fry your turkey for real.
Prevent oil in the pot from splashing by thawing your turkey completely before lowering it slowly into the pot. Oil and ice don't mix and can cause steam bubbles to form as the water vaporizes. When the bubbles burst, they spray hot oil.
Also, make sure that the heat or flame is off when you lower the turkey into the fryer pot. That way, if oil spills out, it won't ignite.
Keep a lid and a fire extinguisher that contains a dry chemical agent to put out grease fires nearby–even if you're cooking outside in an open space.
Never leave your fryer pot unattended. Cooking oil can get hot enough to catch fire even when it doesn't come in contact with a flame. You'll know that it's time to turn down the heat if the oil starts to smoke.
What to Do If You Have a Grease Fire
If a grease fire occurs, don't try to put it out with water. The water will evaporate quickly, allowing the flaming oil to spread. Provided that the flames aren't out of control and you can safely get close enough, slide a metal lid over the top of the pot to smother the fire. Turn off the heat and leave the pot covered until it cools.
When using an extinguisher, instruct others to move a safe distance away from the fire and stand back yourself before spraying. Call 911 if the flames are widespread, shooting high into the air, or threatening nearby structures.
If you've suffered a loss, call an insurance agent like Reinard Insurance Agency Inc as soon as possible to start the process of filing an insurance claim.
After I moved out of my parent's home, I started learning more and more about insurance policies. I was involved in a bad car accident, and I ended up working with my car insurance company as well as my medical and dental insurance companies. I paid my premiums and enjoyed coverage, but I didn't really understand how the entire insurance claim process worked. I wanted to make this blog to help other people like me to learn more about insurance coverage. Check out this blog for more details on insurance coverage, how to file a claim, and what you should expect throughout the shopping process.