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Fry the Turkey, Not the House!

Thanksgiving is near and visions of fried turkeys already are dancing in more than a few heads.

Yet even as you are salivating, our Trusted Choice® independent insurance agents hasten to caution you. The old joke that men love cooking only if it involves flames and danger is not so funny after an accident. Every year too many folks are harmed and homes are burned due to the combination of large pots of hot oil and big turkeys. Your homeowners insurance may respond for the fire damages and your health insurance for the emergency room visit, but is that really the new Thanksgiving tradition you had in mind?

Fried turkey can be a great alternative to traditional oven-roasted fare, but be certain to take into account the much higher risk factors. Use a fryer designed specifically for turkeys, rather than jury-rigging other cooking equipment.

Safe Frying Tips

Once you have the proper fryer, follow a few tips from the experts that can make the difference between taste sensation and flaming disaster:

  • Turkey deep fryers should always be placed outdoors, on a flat, preferably concrete surface located a safe distance away from anything combustible. Never use a turkey fryer in the garage, on a wooden deck, or anywhere near the house.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended. Even after you are finished cooking, do not let pets or children near the unit. The oil in the fryer remains extremely hot for hours after cooking.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy. The best is a Class K wet chemical fire extinguisher. If fire erupts, do not throw water on it. Water cannot extinguish a grease fire and will cause the oil to spatter violently. Use common sense. If the fire is small, use the extinguisher, but dial 911 for emergency assistance before the blaze becomes unmanageable.
  • Use oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut or canola.
  • Do not overfill the turkey fryer. If oil spills over?because the turkey is too large or the oil level is too high?flames can engulf the unit and endanger bystanders. Before frying, conduct this test: Put the unseasoned turkey into an empty fryer. Then fill the fryer with water until the turkey is fully submerged. If the turkey fits comfortably, mark the water level. When preparing to cook, dry the fryer thoroughly. Then fill it with oil to an inch shy of your level mark to allow for expansion of the oil as it heats.
  • Thaw the turkey completely and dry it with paper towels. Injected marinades are fine, but season the turkey skin with a dry rub. Excess water in a partially frozen or wet turkey will cause the pot to bubble over, resulting in a fire hazard. The National Turkey Federation recommends 24 hours of thawing for every five pounds of bird before cooking in a turkey fryer.
  • Most turkey fryers do not come with a thermostat, and if left unattended may overheat, resulting in combustion. Turkey fryer thermometers and other accessories are available.
  • Use heavy oven mitts or well-insulated potholders. The lid, handles, and sides of the cooking pot become very hot, posing a severe burn threat. Protective eyewear is also recommended.

Our Trusted Choice independent agents always stands ready to offer advice and a comprehensive review of your current insurance coverage and needs. But when it comes to safety, remember: The best claim is the one you never have to make. Whether you’re tending a deep fryer or waiting on the timer to go off on your oven, be safe this Thanksgiving and holiday season.

How to Deep Fry a Delicious Feast >>

Do You Need Fire Insurance for Your Home?

Facts about Home Fires InfographicThe National Fire Protection Agency reports that, on average, Americans experience a fire in their homes about once every five years. This number includes all accidental house fires, no matter how small. Most are put out quickly and result in little damage.

However, fires can occasionally get out of control, and when they do, the damage is often significant.

There are several things that can trigger a fire in your home. In addition to common cooking or heating fires, a number of other fire causes including malfunction of electrical and heating systems, negligent use of candles, cigarettes and matches, and arson can plague homeowners. A policy that includes fire hazard insurance can help you recover your home and belongings after a fire.

Most homeowners insurance policies cover structural damage and loss of personal property, or “contents,” up to a value of about 50 percent of the covered value of the home. If your home policy provides $200,000 worth of coverage, for example, the personal property portion would provide up to $100,000 worth of coverage for personal belongings.

An independent insurance agent in the Trusted Choice® network like ours at Neely Taylor Wade Insurance  can help you determine your coverage needs and can explain your options for dwelling fire insurance. Independent agents work for you, not for an insurance company, and they have taken a pledge to provide exceptional customer service and honest, ethical advice.

It is a good idea to make an inventory of all your belongings and bring it with you when you meet with a Trusted Choice member agent. Most policies have caps on coverage for different kinds of belongings. If you own expensive items such as jewelry, artwork or electronics, you may need to purchase a separate rider that lists your valuable items and provides the additional coverage for them.

More about Fire Insurance >>

Get a Fire Insurance Quote Today >>