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Monday, November 25, 2013

Weather Cancels Live Outdoor "Turkey Deep Frying" Cooking Demonstration


After consultation with local meteorologists, Fire/EMS Department Leadership and Safety Officers the Live Turkey Frying event on Tuesday is cancelled.  Inclement weather makes cooking with hot oil outdoors unsafe. Deep Frying can only be used outdoors.

We would like to thank Wegmans for donating the frozen turkeys to us and the Greenbelt Volunteer Fire Department for the cooking oil and large chefs pot.  Special thanks to retired PGFD Fire Fighter Billy Hinton
that had agreed to demonstrate his chef skills for us.  Remember "Safety First."

The men and women wish everyone a safe and festive Happy Thanksgiving Holiday.  If you are going to deep fry your turkey we ask that you and other members of your family review some safety tips!!!


The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department offers the following safety tips, to ensure that all citizens and residents will enjoy a safe and festive Thanksgiving holiday. 

Unfortunately, fire safety and injury prevention guidelines are often overlooked during the holidays. Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor stated, "Everyone needs to keep Safety First and by doing so our citizens, visitors and businesses can avoid tragedy and disruption of their holiday festivities."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) United States Fire Administration (USFA) issued a special report recently examining the characteristics of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings. The report, Thanksgiving Day Fires in Residential Buildings, was developed by USFA's National Fire Data Center.

The report is based on 2006 to 2008 data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). According to the report, an estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings occur annually in the United States, resulting in an estimated average of 5 deaths, 25 injuries, and $21 million in property loss. The leading cause of all Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings is, by far, cooking. Additionally, smoke alarms were not present in 20 percent of Thanksgiving Day fires that occurred in occupied residential buildings.

While these safety and cooking tips may not make Thanksgiving dinner taste any better--they will help to avoid potential disaster;
Keep your family and overnight guests safe with a working smoke alarm on every level of the house, in each bedroom and in the halls adjacent to the bedrooms. Test smoke alarms monthly, and replace batteries at least once a year.

Overnight guests should be instructed on your home’s fire escape plan and designated meeting place for your family.
Have a fire extinguisher available not more than 10 feet from the stove, on the exit side of the room.

A standard Class ABC multi-purpose dry chemical extinguisher is recommended. Know how to use your fire extinguisher.
Start holiday cooking with a clean stove and oven.
Keep the kitchen off limits to young children and adults who are not helping with food preparations. This will lessen the possibility of kitchen mishaps.

When cooking, do not wear clothing with loose sleeves or dangling jewelry. Clothing can catch on fire and jewelry can become entangled with pot handles, causing spills and burns.
Cook on the back burners when possible, and turn pot handles inward so they don’t extend over the edge of the stove.

Never leave cooking unattended. If you must leave the kitchen while cooking, turn off the stove or have someone else watch what is being cooked. Unattended cooking is the number one cause of home fires and fire-related injuries in Prince George’s County.  According to the USFA; cooking is the leading cause of all Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings at 69 percent. Nearly all of these cooking fires (97 percent) are small, confined fires with limited damage.

If you use a deep fryer, please, exercise extreme caution and follow manufacturer instructions.  The report from the USFA found that these cooking devices accounted for about 1% of Thanksgiving Day fires.

Keep Thanksgiving decorations and kitchen clutter away from sources of direct heat.

Candles are often part of holiday decorations. The Fire/EMS Department strongly encourages the use of battery powered candles and discourages the use of candles with an open flame.  If you use candles; they should never be left burning when you are away from home, or after going to bed. Candles should be placed where children will not be tempted to play with them, and where guests will not accidentally brush against them. The candleholder should be completely non-combustible and difficult to knock over. The candle should not have combustible decorations around it.

If smoking is allowed inside, provide guests with large, deep ashtrays and check them frequently. After guests leave check inside, under upholstery, and in trash cans for cigarette butts that may be smoldering.

Overnight guests should be briefed on the home escape plan and designated meeting place outside.

Working smoke alarms are required in all residences in Prince George's County.  Consider upgrading to a 10-year tamper proof with hush feature smoke alarm and never change a battery again.  If you can not afford to purchase an alarm you can call our Safety First Smoke Alarm program at 301-864-SAFE (7233).  A firefighter will install a working smoke alarm in your home; free of charge.

The men and women, career, civilian and volunteer, of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department wish everyone a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!!!

  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.

Important safety information

If you absolutely must use a turkey fryer, please use the following tips.
·         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.



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