Holiday Home Security and Safety Series: Holiday and Christmas Tree Fire Safety

The weekend after Thanksgiving marks the traditional start of the holiday season. It’s the time when people across the country begin decorating their homes for the holidays. That includes putting up Christmas trees and decking homes with festive holiday lights.

While Christmas trees and holiday lights are lovely to behold, they can also be dangerous. Read more

Holiday Home Security and Safety Series: Turkey Fryer Safety

It’s that time of year again. The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us. As we’ve seen in the past few years, turkey fryers have gained in popularity as the way to cook a moist, delicious bird.

While there are a many turkey fryers on the market, most of them use gallons of oil. With the use of oil – particularly large amounts – combined with fire or heat, comes the chance you could start a fire or suffer serious burns.

In fact, turkey fryers are considered dangerous enough that Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the renowned independent, not-for-profit product safety testing and certification organization, refuses to certify any turkey fryers with its UL mark.

Even as manufacturers have designed turkey fryers with safety features including sturdier stands and non-heat conducting handles, UL maintains its position that fryers are a fire risk. “We’re worried by the increasing reports of fires related to turkey fryer use. Based on our test findings, the fryers used to produce those great-tasting birds are not worth the risks,” explains John Dregenberg, UL consumer affairs manager.

But regardless, every year 47 million turkeys are prepared for Thanksgiving day, and because of the attraction to the taste, and even the novelty, people will continue to use fryers.

Watch this demonstration from the Underwriters Laboratories to understand the risks associated with turkey fryers:

According to UL, some of the hazards include:

  • Units can easily tip offer, spilling hot oil.
  • If fryers are overfilled with oil, the oil may splash out when the turkey is placed in the pot. The oil can then hit the burner or flames and cause a fire.
  • Placing a partially frozen turkey in the fryer can cause the oil to spill over the pot.
  • Most turkey fryers do not have thermostat controls. Because the heat is unregulated it can overheat and combust.
  • Lids and handles on turkey fryers become dangerously hot and may result in burns.

But if you still intend to use a fryer, regardless of the risks, UL offers some tips:

  • Always place a turkey fryer on a flat surface, outdoors, and away from buildings. Never use them in a garage, on a deck or in any other covered area.
  • Do not overfill the fryer, and make sure turkeys are completely thawed. The National Turkey Federation (NTF) recommendations say to thaw turkeys in the refrigerator for 24 hours for every five pounds.
  • Never leave a turkey fryer unattended.
  • When handling lids or touching the side of the pot, use insulated oven mitts. Safety googles are also recommended in case oil splatters.
  • Do not allow children or pets to come near the fryer, even hours after it has been in use as the oil remains hot for a long time.
  • Have an all-purpose fire extinguisher handy. If a fire does occur, don’t hesitate calling the fire department.
  • As an alternative, use one of the newer turkey cooking appliances that does not require oil.

Cook safely this Thanksgiving!

Next Steps:

Fire Prevention Week Facts

In 2010, one home fire was reported every 85 seconds. Those fires in 2010 caused about 13,350 injuries among civilians, 2,640 deaths and resulted in $6.9 billion in damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Since 1990 cooking has topped the list as the number one reason for fires, while heating equipment was the main reason for fires in the 1980s and still  as the second cause of fires. Smoking materials, electrical equipment and candles are also high on the list of the reasons fires start.

Organizations like the National Fire Protection Association and fire houses across the country recognize Fire Prevention Week to remind people of these statistics and as well as to talk to them about fire safety. Read more

5 Summer Fire Safety Tips

Summer weather means cookouts, Fourth of July fireworks, and all sorts of campfire fun as families across the country take advantage of the warm temperatures to get back in touch with nature.

It’s certainly relaxing to enjoy a beach bonfire with friends and loved ones, or roast marshmallows by the lake or in the backyard fire pit, but it’s also important to ensure that everyone stays safe by observing a few simple fire protection guidelines.

American Alarm would like to thank FEMA and the U.S. Fire Administration for their assistance in putting together this list of five summer fire safety tips: Read more