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Traveling This Thanksgiving? Stay Safe On The Road
Many people will travel to visit loved ones for the Thanksgiving holiday and the American Red Cross has travel tips holiday travelers can follow to arrive safely at their destination.
ON THE ROAD Most holiday travelers get to where they are going by car. To arrive safely, the Red Cross recommends these safety steps for travelers who will drive to visit their loved ones this Thanksgiving:
Make sure the vehicle is in good working order.
Start out with a full tank of gas, check the tire air pressure and make sure the windshield fluid is full.
Buckle up, slow down, don’t drive impaired. Designate a driver who won’t drink.
Be well rested and alert.
Use caution in work zones.
Give one’s full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
Observe speed limits – driving too fast or too slow can increase the chance of being in a collision.
Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers. If the driver is tired, stop and get some rest.
Be respectful of other motorists and follow the rules of the road.
Don’t follow another vehicle too closely.
Clean the vehicle’s headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows.
Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or if using windshield wipers due to inclement weather.
Don’t overdrive the headlights.
If car trouble develops, pull off the road as far as possible.
It’s also recommended to keep an emergency preparedness kit in the vehicle. Useful items include water, snacks, a flashlight, first aid kit, extra cash and blankets.
The above is an excerpt from the article, “Travel Safely During Thanksgiving Holiday.” For more information, please visit www.redcross.org.
UL considers turkey fryers to be dangerous to use presenting numerous safety hazards to consumers. “We’re worried by the increasing reports of fires related with turkey fryer use,” says John Drengenberg, consumer affairs manager of UL. “Based on our test findings, the fryers used to produce those great-tasting birds are not worth the risks. And, as a result of these tests, UL has decided not to certify any turkey fryers with our trusted UL Mark.”
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.
The above is an excerpt from the article, “Product Safety Tips.” For more information, please visit www.sba.gov.
This is an excerpt from the article, “CPSC Issues Safety Tips for Turkey Fryers ” For more info, please visit http://www.cspc.gov.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is issuing safety tips for preventing fires and burns when using turkey fryers. Since 1998, CPSC has reports of 75 incidents that involved fires, flames, or burns associated with turkey fryers. Twenty-eight of these incidents were reported for the year 2002. Here are some of the hazard scenarios:
House fires associated with turkey fryers leading to injuries and property damage.
Ignition of oil used with turkey fryers. This was often related to oil reaching excess temperatures or oil contacting the open flame of the fryer.
Splashing of hot oil causing burns.
The majority of reported incidents occurred while the oil was being heated, prior to adding the turkey. For this reason, it is very important consumers monitor the temperature of the oil closely. If any smoke at all is noticed coming from a heating pot of oil, the burner should be turned off immediately because the oil is overheated.
There is a risk of injury resulting from splashing due to the cooking of partially frozen meats. Thoroughly thaw and dry ALL meats before cooking in hot oil. One reported burn incident occurred when partially frozen chicken wings were added to hot oil in a turkey fryer.
CPSC staff is working with industry and voluntary standards organizations to improve the safety standard for turkey fryers.
CPSC staff recommends consumers who choose to fry turkeys follow the following safety guidelines:
Keep fryer in FULL VIEW while burner is on.
Place fryer in an open area AWAY from all walls, fences, or other structures.
Never use IN, ON, or UNDER a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or any structure that can catch fire.
Raise and lower food SLOWLY to reduce splatter and avoid burns.
COVER bare skin when adding or removing food.
Check the oil temperature frequently.
If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn gas supply OFF.
If a fire occurs, immediately call 911. DO NOT attempt to extinguish fire with water.
Each year, Americans prepare a whopping 45 million turkeys for the traditional Thanksgiving Day feast. However, for those who decide to center their meal around a fried turkey, the potential hazards of cooking that dinner in the turkey fryer can be far worse than putting on a few extra pounds.
The above is the video, “Danger of Turkey Fryers.” For more information, pase visit www.ul.com.
For safest operation, CPSC staff recommends that consumers follow these guidelines as they prepare to use a turkey fryer:
Make sure there is at least 2 feet of space between the liquid propane tank and fryer burner.
Place the liquid propane gas tank and fryer so that any wind blows the heat of the fryer away from the gas tank.
Center the pot over the burner on the cooker.
Completely thaw (USDA says 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds) and dry turkey before cooking. Partially frozen and/or wet turkeys can produce excessive hot oil splatter when added to the oil.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the proper amount of oil to add. If those are not available:
Place turkey in pot
Fill with water until the turkey is covered by about 1/2 inch of water
Remove and dry turkey
Mark water level. Dump water, dry the pot, and fill with oil to the marked level.