Throughout the holiday season, Americans are regularly cautioned against imbibing too much at holiday parties and driving home impaired. Unfortunately, other safety hazards are also more common in the fall. According to data recently compiled by State Farm Insurance, more grease and cooking fires occur in the United States on Thanksgiving Day than at any other time. In addition, the State of Illinois reportedly ranked number two for the number of holiday cooking fires nationwide over the last five years. Only Texas had a higher rate of statewide cooking-related fires on Thanksgiving Day. Many believe the increased number of fires has resulted from the recent popularity of turkey fryers.
The National Fire Protection Association alleges that deep fryers result in at least $15 million worth of property damage every year. Additionally, the oil used in such devices can potentially cause devastating physical harm to both adults and children. Fortunately, the majority of turkey fryer fires can be prevented. For example, deep fryers should not be used on a wooden structure such as a deck and they should be kept away from any buildings or other objects that may ignite. Other safety measures include ensuring that a deep fryer is not left unattended and keeping a functioning fire extinguisher that is rated for grease nearby. The Illinois Fire Marshall also cautioned against using water to put out a grease fire.
The potential for cooking-related injuries has allegedly caused physicians at Loyola University Medical Center to discourage the use of turkey fryers. The hospital is reportedly still treating an 87-year-old Mount Prospect man for burn injuries he sustained after he fell into a turkey fryer on Thanksgiving Day in 2011. According to a representative for the medical center’s Burn and Trauma Unit, Dr. Tom Esposito, drinking or becoming distracted by guests or cellular phones while cooking also increases an individual’s burn risk. He warned that children should always be kept away from a fryer or oven and ideally they should be kept out of any area where hot food is prepared.
According to the American Burn Association, an estimated 450,000 Americans required medical treatment for a burn injury in 2011 and about 55 percent of them were hospitalized. In addition, approximately 3,500 people died as result of their burns. Of those individuals who were admitted to a specialized burn center, an estimated 68 percent of burns occurred at home, 10 percent happened at a place of work, and seven percent resulted from an accident that occurred on a roadway.
Burn accidents can result from any number of causes including cooking or building fires, car wrecks, electrical accidents, scalding, and industrial or other workplace accidents. Serious burns often cause excruciating pain and disfiguring injuries that can require long-term medical care. If you were severely burned as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover financial compensation for your pain, suffering, medical expenses, loss of income and benefits, and other damages. A skilled personal injury lawyer can discuss your options for recovery with you in more detail.