Data compiled by the USFA—a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency—projects that there were over 2,000 residential building fires reported to U.S. fire departments from 2011 to 2013. The average number of reported residential building fires on Thanksgiving Day was more than twice the average on all other days, and these fires caused an estimated 10 deaths, 50 injuries and $28 million in property losses, a USFA report states.
The USFA urges residents to abide by proper cooking precautions for a safe Thanksgiving Day. More USFA information, including cooking fire safety outreach materials, can be found on the organization's website.
The five dangers of deep frying a turkey, according to the USFA:
- Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area
- An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and a partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot.
- Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire.
- Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire.
- The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles can get dangerously hot.