Blackened Turkey Anyone? Cooking Fires on Holidays

Nothing says Thanksgiving like the stench of something burned, and authorities say holidays bring more cooking fires. They have a special warning on deep fat turkey frying. Don't.

It's a different kind of fire season starting Thursday: cooking fire season. Every year, national statistics show, there's an increase in cooking fires on Thanksgiving and other winter holidays. 

--An average of 155,000 cooking fires a year. Many more go unreported.

--460 people die each year as a result of these fires, which also result in

--Nearly 5,000 injuries and $724 million in property damage.

These statistics are from the United States Fire Administration (USFA), which reported that the number of cooking fires increases on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and urges people not to become “a cooking fire casualty.”

One of the biggest holiday cooking dangers is the deep fat turkey frier, such a consistent fire injury risk that the USFA and other agencies plead with people to just not use them. Underwriters Laboratory will not endorse or put its seal of approval on any model of the item (see video).

The USFA offers a few of its extensive safety tips.

Watch What You Heat

  • The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you're cooking.
  • Stay alert! To prevent cooking fires, you have to be alert. You won't be if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.

Keep Things That Can Catch Fire and Heat Sources Apart

  • Keep anything that can catch fire - potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains - away from your stovetop.
  • Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean.
  • Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire if it comes into contact with a gas flame or electric burner. 

For the extended version of safety tips, from how to avoid scalding children to how to put out a kitchen fire, check the USFA site.

Things I Learned November 22, 2012 at 03:08 PM
It begins: "...“They were attacking the vehicle,” Karen Halvorson said outside her home in the Aspinwall Hill neighborhood. After getting in her truck, a neighbor came and ran the birds off but it didn’t stop there. “Then, the turkeys came and started attacking my front door,” she said. A second run-in came a few weeks ago as she walked nearby. “I looked back and three of them charged me,” she explained. She moved to the center of the street to avoid the animals, but it wasn’t enough. “The turkey flew in my face and scratched my neck,” she said. Halvorson refuses to give up her walks so she has taken precautions. “I went down to the hiking store and I got a hiking stick with a big ball on top of it. I walk with it all the time and now I never go without my phone,” she said. At different spots near the Halvorson house, Karen’s husband cut piles of sticks. Those, too, are for protection. “At least we can throw a stick at them and run into the house,” said Halvorson.... Verrier says there are basic things you can do to protect yourself. If you see a turkey, move to the other side of the street. Make noise or spray the turkey with water. Whatever you do, don’t feed them or try to take a picture. “There was a gentleman who took a picture with a flash and they flew right into his face.”
Things I Learned November 22, 2012 at 03:09 PM
"There are two turkey hunting seasons a year in Massachusetts. But in metropolitan areas, with firearm restrictions, that doesn’t help. A frustrated Karen Halvorson is now working with Brookline town leaders to organize a meeting about the problem. Neighbors need guidance and an opportunity to vent, she said...." http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/11/21/turkey-complaints-on-the-rise-in-brookline/
Komfort November 22, 2012 at 03:50 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYkRF_FmD40 Or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8t2dwPTnsyA I can't decide...


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