State fire marshal urges residents to follow fire safety measures
during Thanksgiving holiday
turkey fryers: a significant danger for fires and injuries
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[November 27, 2013]
SPRINGFIELD — Citing data that
shows Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires in the
United States, the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal is
urging families across the state to practice fire safety in the
kitchen during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The fire
marshal's office is warning that turkey fryers are particularly
dangerous, and if used, they should be handled with extreme care.
"Thanksgiving should be a day to celebrate and enjoy a good meal
with family and friends in a safe environment," said State Fire
Marshal Larry Matkaitis. "We encourage the public to take time to
read the instructions before using a turkey fryer, make sure to use
the device outdoors only, and follow safety measures closely to
prevent accidents, injuries and fires."
According to the National
Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving continues to be the
leading day for home cooking fires in U.S., more than any other day
in the calendar year. Turkey fryers are the cause of more than 1,000
fires each year and more than $15 million in property damage.
Data gathered by State Farm Insurance Co. indicates that Illinois
ranked second among the top 10 states in filing claims involving
grease and cooking-related fires on Thanksgiving Day between 2007
and 2011. During the last two years, 100 fires in Illinois started
in the kitchen, with the cause or origin being edible materials or
The U.S. Fire Administration also indicates that home cooking
fires are the main cause for civilian fire injuries. The USFA
discourages the use of outdoor propane-fueled turkey fryers that
immerse the turkey in hot oil. The potential risk of tipping over,
overheating, spilling or splashing hot oil leads to fires and
The state fire marshal's office recommends that consumers who
prefer this method of turkey frying follow these guidelines:
Keep the turkey
fryer in full view while the burner is on. Do not leave
fryers unattended, as many units do not have thermostat
Place turkey fryer
in an open area away from all walls, fences or other
structures, and on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
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Never use the
turkey fryer indoors, on, under or close to a garage,
breezeway, carport, porch or any structure that can catch fire.
(USDA says 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds) and dry turkey
before cooking. Wet turkeys can produce excessive hot oil
splatter when added to the oil.
Cover bare skin
with protective clothing when adding or removing food from the
Check the oil
Never let children
or pets near the fryer when it is in use or after the turkey is
removed. The cooking pot can remain dangerously hot for hours.
spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles.
Never use water to extinguish a grease
fire. If a fire occurs, call 911 immediately.
For additional home fire safety information, visit
Office of the State Fire
received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]