Nine Deep Frying Safety Tips to Help Homeowners Avoid a Fire Damage Disaster
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian offers nine tips to make deep frying a safer experience.
A fire damage disaster can strike at any time and often without warning. When it does, life is suddenly filled with stress, worry, and sometimes fear. The team at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian lives and works in this community. When neighbors suffer fire damage, smoke damage, or water damage due to any size disaster, the SERVPRO professionals are the premier cleanup and restoration company in the region who can quickly restore the damaged property to a state “Like it never even happened.”
Awareness of the Dangers of Deep Frying
Texans love to cook, and they are good at it! Many homeowners have met the COVID-19 challenges of shutdowns, social distancing, and self-quarantines by re-orienting their culinary activities to include more deep frying in the home, outdoor kitchen, and backyard.
Favorite foods that can be cooked in a deep fryer include turkey, donuts, chicken, French fries, and onion rings. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service reports, “While these items are often purchased at a restaurant, deep fat frying is also a popular way to cook in home kitchens. However, deep frying in hot oil can be extremely dangerous. Hot oil can burn people and start fires. If food is not cooked to a safe temperature, it can cause a foodborne illness.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the primary cause of home fires and fire-related injuries in the U.S. Fire departments, on average, respond to over 166,000 structure fires per year, resulting in nearly $1.1 billion in direct property damage. Fat, grease, and cooking oil started fires in fifty-two percent of home fires.
Nine Safety Tips for Deep Frying at Home
Deep-fried foods are a favorite tradition for many Waxahachie and Midlothian families. When safety procedures are properly followed, there is minimal danger involved in the process. The following tips aim to prevent deep frying injuries at home and to make sure that food is cooked to a safe temperature.
- If the preparation of the recipe involves using a pot to deep fry the food item, be sure to have the following equipment available:
- metal tongs
- a thermometer with a pot clip
- a large, heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid
- baking soda or all-purpose flour
Baking soda also functions as an extinguishing agent in case of a small fire.
- If utilizing a store-bought deep fryer, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
Also, take some time to watch several videos on set up, food prep, safety precautions, and the frying process. In many cases, a name brand deep fryer offers professionally scripted and produced instructional videos. Tapping into this knowledge base can result in both better cuisine and a safer experience.
- Never leave a deep fryer unattended.
Leaving unattended items cooking in the deep fryer or on the stove is a leading cause of house fires. The cook can become distracted by social media, a phone call, or a childcare issue and lose track of time. Before long, the smell of smoke or the shrill sound of the smoke alarm will alert the cook to the imminent danger of a fire.
- Use a thermometer to monitor and properly regulate the oil temperature.
The chef will want to make sure that the food is cooked at a high enough temperature to kill any bacteria that might cause food poisoning.
- Avoid overfilling a fryer or pot with oil.
Remember that food displaces oil and may cause spillage. Oil heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit spilling out onto the countertop or flooring can cause burns, damage the flooring, and ruin the meal.
- Wear long-sleeves while frying in case of unexpected splatter.
Water and oil do not mix, especially if the oil is heated to several hundred degrees. Splatter or a full-blown explosion of hot grease can occur. Covering the arms can also prevent burns from normal oil splatter.
- If frying a turkey or other large foods, the recommendation is to deep fry outside.
Cooking outside limits the damage that can occur in the kitchen should the cooking experience turn dangerous. The backyard deep fryer still requires a watchful eye since the tantalizing aroma of deep-fried donuts, turkey, or chicken can be a great temptation to the family pet.
- Before gently placing foods into the hot oil, remove as much excess moisture, water, and marinade as possible.
- Always allow the cooking oil to fully cool before handling.
What to Do in Case of a Fire Caused Deep Frying
- When hot oil is involved, do not use water to extinguish the fire. The results could be explosive.
- Do not attempt to move or relocate the pan, pot, or fryer until the fire is completely out.
- Cover the pot or pan with a heavy lid. Cutting off the oxygen will extinguish the fire.
- Apply a copious amount of baking soda or all-purpose flour to smother any flames.
- Stop fighting the flames if the fire spreads. Redirect the focus to helping everyone escape to safety.
- Call 911.
With practice and safe handling of proper equipment, deep frying can be enjoyed at home during the holidays and all year long. Should fire damage restoration services be needed due to a deep frying disaster or other fire damage event, the team at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian is ready to help restore the damage and give peace of mind to the homeowner.
For more information about fire damage restoration in Waxahachie and Midlothian, TX, contact the office by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.