Turkey Frying Safety Tips

Thanksgiving turkey is a tradition in the United States, but the conventional way of roasting the turkey in an oven is turning to deep frying the bird. A deep-fried turkey, according to aficionados, is juicier and has more flavor than one that has been oven roasted.

Turkey Fryer Fires

Deep frying turkeys, however, comes with its risk. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) says that more than 1,000 fires occur each year caused by deep fryers. The agency reports that the majority of these fires happened in November and December during the holiday season causing about $15 million in damages and serious injuries.

Hot, spattering oil from deep fryers has caused burns, some life threatening. Because of the inherent dangers, the Underwriters Laboratories and the NFPA are advising people not to use them. If you decide to deep fry your turkey, there are several safety tips to take that will help protect both you and your property.

1. Use a fryer that has a solid base and at least four legs. This provides better stability and helps prevent the cooker from toppling over. Read and follow the fryer’s directions to the letter. Never leave the fryer unattended while it’s cooking. It is best to use a fryer that has temperature controls.

2. The fryer should never be used inside the home or on an outside deck. The fryer should be placed on solid, level ground at least 10 feet from any structure and not under an overhang or awning. The propane tank should be at least two feet away from the burner.

3. The turkey should be completely thawed and dry before placing into the fryer. Water or ice in or on the turkey will quickly turn into steam and cause a flare-up or an explosion when it contacts the hot oil. Also, do not use the cooker while it is raining or snowing since either could also create a flare-up or explosion upon hitting the heated oil.

4. Do not overfill the cooker with oil. Allow for displacement when the turkey is placed into the fryer. Overflowing oil can ignite when it comes in contact with the burner. It is best to use a smaller size turkey for frying, one that is no more than 12 pounds. Do not stuff the turkey or use water-based marinades.

5. Before cooking, put the turkey in the empty fryer. Pour water to determine how much oil will be needed to just cover the turkey. Remove the turkey and water and then dry out the fryer before using. Add the the oil to about one or two inches below the water line. Remember, oil will expand when it heats.

6. Turn the burner off before placing the turkey in the fryer. Once the turkey is in place, turn the burner back on. You should wear goggles or safety glasses and oven mitts for protection. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

7. Monitor the oil temperature. Oil can ignite when it is heated over its smoke point. If the oil starts smoking, turn off the burner to avoid a flare-up that could cause serious burns or start a fire.

8. Use a non-oil fryer. These cookers use infrared heat instead of oil. They cook just as fast and are much safer. With these oil-less fryers, you can add rubs or marinades on the turkey.

If you are in need of an insurance agent or are looking to find out what your insurance options are for your home, auto, health or business please contact me.

Lois Drukman
Independent Insurance Broker
Walter J. May Insurance Agency Inc., Hingham, MA
Direct: 781-740-5421 Cell: 617-827-6848
Email: ldrukman@waltermayinsurance.com

Information about Ice Dams and Insurance

ice dam diagramic

 

We are having a very active winter this year!  Long periods of extremely cold weather and a lot of snow are the perfect formula for ice dams and that can cause roofs to leak.   Ice dams are formed at the edge of roofs and gutters when we have thawing and refreezing of snow on roofs. The dams continue to grow larger and will back up higher in the roof line as continued melting occurs.  Melted snow gets trapped by the ice dam and that keeps water from draining off the roof, and this is where the damage begins.  This water can get forced under the shingles and cause dripping through the roof, into the attic, the insulation and into the rest of the inside of the home.

 

Make sure you contact your insurance carrier right away to report all damage and get your claim started.  This will help manage the loss quickly and safely.  Your carrier may even pay something towards having the snow removed from the roof if damage is sustained.  Be careful and if you do not have the right equipment it is better to have a professional remove the snow.

This winter has been colder for longer stretches of time and these conditions can cause damages.  Take all precautions that you can and soon it will be spring!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween Health and Safety Tips

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Halloween is coming this week, and the fall colors are all around us.  This is a beautiful time of year, and we should all enjoy a fun holiday such as Halloween.  Times are different than when I was out as a child in my neighborhood collecting my share of candy.  We insurance brokers are always concerned with the “what if this happens” in life situations, and how to protect ourselves from harm.  Halloween has some very interesting safety statistics we need to keep in mind. There are several great websites about Halloween safety, and I am going to quote a few facts here  from www.safekids.org   Here are some scary statistics they have–

1.) Only 1/3 of parents talk to their children annually about Halloween, although 3/4 report having Halloween safety fears.

2.) On average, TWICE an many children pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to other days of the year.

3.) Only 18% of parents use reflective tape on their children’s Halloween costumes.

4.) 12% of children five years of age or younger are permitted to trick- or- treat alone.

All parents should talk to their goblins of all ages and here are a few simple tips–go to www.safekids.org/halloween for more great help

1.) Children under 12 should trick-or-treat AND cross streets with an adult.

2.) Always walk on sidewalks or paths-if there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic and as far to the side as possible.

3.) Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.  Parents should remind children to watch for cars that are turning or backing up.

4.) Drivers should slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods.  Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.

 

We all want to have fun and lets all be mindful of some simple, common sense rules that may save a life!  May our worst fear be our next dental visit or our waist lines after eating too much candy!

 

We Must Never Forget! This is the 12th Anniversary of 9/11

As time goes on, it is important that we never forget the lessons of that tragic day.  Please take a moment to pause and remember those who we lost that day.  Let us all proudly show our flag and always remember that our Freedom is Not Free!

Labor Day is here!!

When we think if Labor Day, we usually think of the end of summer.  Back to school season!  Perhaps we will take in a parade, enjoy a barbecue or two, fireworks and other fun events.  Or we can just kick back and relax with the extra day off.

It is important to remember how this holiday came to be part of our American culture.  Labor Day is a celebration of workers and their achievements.  We have come a long way from 12 hour work days, 7 days a week schedules, and children working in harsh conditions.  Workers toiled for low wages in very unsafe working conditions.  Workers were compelled to speak up and protest.  These were dismal times and many died during violent protests, such as the Haymarket Riot in Chicago in 1886, where many police officers and workers were killed.  On September 5, 1882 10,000 workers took unpaid time off in New York to march from City Hall to Union Square in the first Labor Day Parade in our history.  This idea caught on in other cities around the country, so a ‘workingmen’s holiday” celebrated on the first Monday in September came to be.

Twelve years later, after a violent strike in Chicago that helped bring workers rights into the public view. the holiday got national status.  The federal government had come in with troops to break up the strike, and the ensuing riots resulted in the deaths of several workers.  As a way of reaching out to the American worker, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and federal territories.

No one has ever been clearly identified as the founder of Labor Day. It was an idea that many people helped in making it finally happen.

We now enjoy the protection of laws that our ancestors had to fight very hard and endure many bad circumstances before they finally came to be.  So as we enjoy our long weekend, let us remember those who didn’t get time off and languished in low paying jobs with unsafe conditions.  They stood up for us and future generations to have a better life.

 

Memorial Day

Once again we get to enjoy a Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer.  Most of us have plans of relaxing and barbecue with family and friends.  But we really need to remember why we have this holiday.

Memorial Day has its roots in the Civil War.  The latest estimates of soldiers killed in this war is 750.000.  This is more than all other American wars combined.  This was just over 2 percent of the population! In terms of today’s population, it would be 6 to 7 million people lost.

Many towns claim to have started this holiday, but what really matters is that people across the country saw the need to reflect and remember–so the nation created it.  I just learned that over half of the Civil War dead were never identified.  There were no dog tags or any way of official notification of family.  So we came to feel a shared sense of loss and the dead now belonged to everyone as so many could not belong to just anyone.

It became important to the nation’s process of mourning to bring dignity to these lost souls.  Death without dignity was not acceptable to our countrymen.  It helped to some way ratify now important the courage and sacrifice had been to now take a moment of reflection so the healing could begin for our country.  Perhaps we all should take a moment to think what it meant to be an American back then, and what so many sacrificed for the good of the nation.

The Civil War has long passed, but wars have not.  We continue to have every generation sacrifice some of its best to preserve our way of life.  We must never forget those who have served and those who serve us now.

Freedom is not free.