Macon-Bibb fire department shares holiday safety tips

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Macon-Bibb County Fire Department wants to make sure everyone has a safe and fun holiday. It is offering some fire safety tips and identifying turkey fryer hazards.

Turkey Fryer Hazards

  • Many units easily tip over, spilling the hot oil from the cooking pot.
  • If the cooking pot is overfilled with oil, the oil may spill out of the unit when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot. Oil may hit the burner or flames, causing a fire to engulf the entire unit.
  • Partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover effect. This too may result in an extensive fire.
  • With no thermostat controls, the units also have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion.
  • The lid and handles on the sides of the cooking pot get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards.

Turkey Fryer Safety Tips

  • Follow these safety tips and you should be on your way to enjoying a delicious, deep fried turkey.
  • 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.

Fire Safety Tips

  • Be sure the fireplace or wood-burning stove has an adequate clearance (36”) from combustible surfaces.
  • Have the chimney inspected annually and cleaned if necessary, especially if it has not been used for some time.
  • Do not use flammable liquids to start or accelerate any fire.
  • Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace opening, to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out, unwanted material from going in, and help prevent the possibility of burns to occupants.
  • Don’t use excessive amounts of paper to build roaring fires in fireplaces. It is possible to ignite creosote in the chimney by overbuilding the fire.
  • Keep flammable materials away from your fireplace mantel. A spark from the fireplace could easily ignite these materials.
  • Before you go to sleep, be sure your fireplace fire is out. Never close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace. A closed damper will help the fire heat up again & will force toxic carbon monoxide into the house.
  • Never use a range or an oven as a supplemental heating device.
  • If you use an electric heater, be sure not to overload the circuit.
  • Avoid using electrical space heaters in bathrooms or other areas where they may come into contact with water.
  • Keep young children away from space heaters, especially when they are wearing night gowns or other loose clothing that can be easily ignited.
  • Frozen water pipes? Never try to thaw them with a blow torch or other open flame, otherwise the pipe could conduct the heat and ignite the wall structure inside the wall space. Use a hand held dryer for thawing.
  • If windows are used as emergency exits in your home, practice using them in the event fire should strike. Home escape ladders are recommended.
  • Be sure every level of your home has a working smoke alarm, and be sure to check and clean it monthly.
  • Plan and practice a home escape plan with your family.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News

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