As Thanksgiving approaches (only one week away), we at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North want to give you a few very important tips on how to keep your home safe during the holidays.
Believe it or not, far too many home catch on fire during the fall season! Imagine preparing for the holidays just to have flames devour your property over something as small as a turkey. The impact around this time of year (as winter holidays quickly approach following Thanksgiving) is astronomical and quite stressful to say the least.
Yet time and time again, we are called to homes in the Silver Spring North, Rockville and Olney communities around Thanksgiving to cleanup and restore fire damage… and all because of a turkey.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, compared to any other day of the year, the number of house fires reportedly doubles on Thanksgiving Day.
We don’t want our neighbors of Silver Spring North and Rockville-Olney to have to experience such a catastrophe, especially during the busiest time of your year. We want to explain to you how a turkey can cause such a huge mess and then, provide you with some tips, so you are ready to enjoy the holidays!
So, how does the bird cause a fire? Well, these fires usually originate from a deep fryer. The oil used typically spills over the sides of fryer in these instances, and falls into flames beneath. Even vapors can react with the heat, causing a fire.
If your turkey has not been completely dried and thawed, the excess water will cause the oil to bubble and spill down.
Here in the Maryland/DC area, temperatures around the holidays drop. It’s typically quite cold outside. Rain or snow can also factor into the catastrophe. It can cause the oil to splatter.
Due to chilly weather, you might be tempted to shield yourself from the cold weather and fry your turkey in the garage or under your deck. Maybe you have a nice, screened-in deck you’d like to cook inside. Don’t! If your turkey catches on fire, the flames will extend to the ceiling or roof, then spread, engulfing the room and beyond.
Of course we understand people enjoy cooking their special dinner in a propane deep-fryer. So, we are including a few tips to follow in avoiding a fire!
- Make sure your fryer is equipped with a gas valve controller
- While in use, keep your fryer away from children, pets, trees, shrubs, bushes, vehicles, etc. alike
- Your turkey must be completely thawed and dry before placing it in the fryer
- Make sure the fryer in placed on a flat surface
- Do not leave your fryer unattended
- Notice the oil is beginning to smoke? Turn the propane tank off immediately!
- Have a fire extinguisher handy
Be sure to check out our next blog including cautions and tips when cooking a turkey in the oven!