MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - On average there are 172,000 home structure fires involving cooking equipment per year in the United States, according to a study by the National Fire Protection Association. Those fires on average claim the lives of 530 civilians and cause $1.1 billion in property damage.
In 2016, Thanksgiving was the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
Many of us in the south love to fry our turkeys for Thanksgiving, but that method can of course be dangerous.
The Myrtle Beach Fire Department says there are some important steps to take before cooking your bird.
First you need to measure, with water, how much oil is needed. To do this place your turkey in the fryer and fill water to the top of the turkey. Then remove the turkey and mark the new waterline, that is your oil fill line.
Some other helpful reminders, keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures. The NFPA says 9 percent of fires occur because the heat source was left too close to a combustible.
Finally make sure your turkey is thawed and dry before cooking it. And never leave your fryer unattended, according to statistics 32 percent of cooking fires are the result of unattended equipment.
Fire officials stress the importance of knowing what you’re doing when using a deep fryer.
If you must have your turkey fried, but don’t want to use the deep frying method, Lt. Jon Evans with the Myrtle Beach Fire Department recommends using an electric fryer. They use less oil, and are safe to use inside.