An average of 170,000 residential building fires were reportedly caused by cooking in 2021, according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). Of those fires, there were an average of 135 civilian deaths and 3,000 civilian injuries. The fires resulted in a total property loss of $494,200,000.
The biggest day for home cooking fires is Thanksgiving with an average 1,600 fires reported every year.
If your tradition is to roast your turkey in the oven, there are several kitchen safety precautions you should take. But what if you decide to try your hand at deep frying the turkey?
First, fire officials highly recommend not using a turkey fryer. But IF you are going to, head outside and follow these safety precautions from the USFA:
Use fryer outside
Turkey fryers should always be used outside and not in inclement weather like wind, rain or snow, as precipitation can make the oil spatter and the mixture of oil and water can cause a fire.
Make sure fryer is in correct place
A fryer should be at least 10 feet from your home and not under roof eaves, awnings, a porch, or trees. When using a fryer, ensure it is on a flat, even surface to avoid tipping and spilling hot cooking oil.
Check the fryer
Before using the fryer, check the propane tank for leaks.
Start with a thawed turkey
You can safely fry your turkey by starting with a fully thawed bird. A frozen turkey will cause hot cooking oil to splatter when the bird enters the fryer, which can cause a fire.
Don’t overfill the pot
Don’t overfill the fryer with oil; an overfilled pot will spill over when the turkey is put in. You can first test the amount you need by filling the pot with water.
Pay attention and protect yourself
Once you start cooking, do not leave the turkey unattended and pay attention to the temperature of the oil. You can monitor the temperature by using a kitchen thermometer attached to the side of the fryer. While cooking, make sure you use oven mitts, as the lid and pot handles can get extremely hot.
Keep kids and pets away
While the turkey is in the fryer, you should also ensure children and pets are kept at least 3 feet away.
Keep combustibles away
In addition, keep anything flammable away from the fryer and things like towels and aprons. In the event of a fire, have a fire extinguisher close by.
Avoid drinking alcohol while cooking
Alcohol is not only flammable, but it can impair judgement if too much is consumed. Save the alcohol for AFTER your meal is cooked or at least do not keep it near an open flame.
What insurance covers in the event of a fire
Your standard homeowner’s policy with MAPFRE will usually cover your losses should certain events like a major fire, heavy rain, or heavy snow damage your home’s interior or exterior.
We hope it would never happen, but in the event you accidentally have a fire due to frying your turkey and your home or other structures are ignited, you would probably be covered under the following:
- Other Structures
- Personal Property
- Dwelling Liability Coverage
If someone visiting your property were injured by a fire, Liability Coverage would take effect. However, if a household member were injured, they would not be covered by your Homeowners Liability Coverage. Still, hopefully, you have the proper health insurance coverage to get the care they need.
Make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy is up-to-date by contacting your local independent insurance agent! If you’re not yet insured with us and live in Massachusetts, you can always get a fast, free quote online today to see how much you could save!