LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (StateFarm) - According to State Farm® claims data, more cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. In fact, grease and cooking-related claims more than double on Thanksgiving Day compared to an average day in November.
Statistics show that U.S. fire departments respond to more than 1,000 fires each year in which such devices are involved, fires that cause $15 million in property damage and serious burns to adults and children.
In 2011, State Farm teamed up with actor William Shatner to produce a short video dramatizing an actual accident where the celebrity was burned in a turkey fryer mishap on Thanksgiving. The docudrama, 'Eat, Fry, Love: A Cautionary Tale', warns people about the dangers of improper turkey frying.
"I love to fry turkey and have been doing it for years but I am not immune to frying accidents," says Shatner. "People need to remember that hot oil and turkey can be a dangerous combination."
To get the safety message out in 2012, State Farm worked with John Boswell, aka melodysheep on YouTube, to auto-tune the Shatner turkey fryer video. Called 'Eat, Fry, Love: A Cautionary Remix', Boswell injected the perfect blend of creativity and repetition to create a Thanksgiving safety anthem sure to have families clamoring for a moister, tastier and turkey.
Most turkey fryer fires are preventable. Recognizing common mistakes is a critical step in reducing your risk of a fire or potentially fatal burns.
State Farm offers these tips for preventing fires when using turkey fryers:
- More than one-third of fires involving a fryer start in a garage or patio. Cook outdoors at a safe distance from any buildings or trees and keep the fryer off any wooden structures, such as a deck or patio.
- Avoid a hot oil spillover by first filling the pot with cold oil and then lower the thawed turkey into the pot to determine how much oil should be either added or removed.
- Shut off the fuel source or flame when adding the turkey to the hot oil to prevent a dangerous flare-up if oil does spill over the rim.
- Make sure your turkey is properly thawed before lowering it slowly into the pot.
- Never leave a hot turkey fryer unattended.
- Do not use ice or water to cool down oil or extinguish an oil fire.
- Keep an extinguisher approved for cooking or grease fires nearby.
(Source: State Farm)