|Holiday Cooking Outdoors: Special Equipment Can Cause Big Fires|
|By Firefighter Mark Robertson Sr.|
|November 15, 2019|
In the last several years people have taken to cooking meals outdoors using specialized equipment. The increased use of this special equipment has led to more outdoor fires. These fires can have the potential to not only damage the equipment, but to damage your deck, shed, or even your home. These tips from the United States Fire Administration and Underwriters Laboratories can help to prevent outdoor cooking fires.
Use Barbecue Grills Safely
* Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
* Check the propane cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose will reveal escaping propane quickly by releasing bubbles.
o Turn off the propane tank and grill.
Turkey Fryer Safety
*Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.
*Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.
*Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
*Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
*Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.
*To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
*Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
*Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.
*The National Turkey Federation (NTF) recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.
*Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.