Got Turkey? How to Avoid Fires, Personal Injury this Thanksgiving

 In Personal Injury

For a holiday centered around healthy servings of gratitude, family, food and football, Thanksgiving certainly has its fair share of hidden risks. No, we’re not talking about the much-maligned turkey coma from ingesting too much tryptophan.

The personal injury attorneys at Pribanic & Pribanic want you to consider this:

  •  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 416 motorists died in traffic crashes during the 2012 Thanksgiving Holiday weekend.
  •  And according to that NHTSA data, 60 percent of the passenger-vehicle occupants killed were not wearing their seat belts
  • Those same statistics also indicate that 42 percent were killed in crashes that involved a drunk driver who had a blood alcohol content of .08 or more.

And that’s not counting all the folks who suffered a personal injury during Thanksgiving Day (and weekend) motor vehicle accidents.

While we’re talking about the ways in which people suffer a personal injury during Turkey Day, there is more to discuss than just traffic dangers.

The Thanksgiving holiday carries an inherent risk of fire – and it isn’t because of your culinarily-challenged Aunt Marge or Uncle Fred.

According to statistics released by the U.S. Fire Administration (more commonly referred to as USFA), there are about 4,300 fires and Thanksgiving – blazes that cause as many as 15 deaths and as much as $27 million in property damage.

The culprit? Your bird.

Each year, fire departments from across the country are called to put out fires caused by folks deep frying their turkeys.

While admittedly delicious, one wrong move could have your home, your guests or your clothing up in flames.

Because nobody should have to deal with a personal injury claim following a holiday, we wanted to pass along a few tips for how to avoid a fire come Thursday:

  • As always, read the owner’s manual so you understand how to both properly set it up and use it.
  • Here’s a big one: Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before attempting to fry it – you know, because hot oil and water don’t mix.
  • Use the proper amount of oil. If you overfill the fryer, oil may spill out and hit the burner – which could increase the chance for an inferno.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended – not to get a beer, not to see a game-winning drive, not ever. This is especially important for folks whose deep fryers don’t have thermostat controls that prevent oil from overheating to the point that it ignites.
  • Use appropriate hand protection. The lids and handles of the cooking pot can get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards.
  • Have an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Please note that you should NEVER use water to extinguish an oil fire – it will only make the flames bigger and more widespread.
  • While it can get downright cold in Pittsburgh during the Thanksgiving holiday, do not deep fry your turkey inside your garage, on a porch or deck, or inside your house for obvious reasons.

From a legal standpoint, homeowner insurance policies will cover things like the structure of your home, your personal belongings and liability protection for personal injury to you or your guests.

The personal injury attorneys at Pribanic & Pribanic hope that you and yours have a Thanksgiving holiday free from motor vehicle accidents, personal injury and fires in general.

However, if you or someone you love suffered a personal injury over the Thanksgiving holiday, call the Pittsburgh personal injury attorneys at Pribanic & Pribanic today at 412-672-5444 or toll-free at 800-392-4529 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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