Surprise reminds residents to properly dispose use cooking oil, grease and fat remnants in the trash or at designated dumping locations this holiday season and offers tips on how to prevent deep fryer injuries.
Cooking grease poured down drains can cause plumbing problems for homes and negatively impact the city’s sewer system. Grease not only solidifies, which clogs pipes, but when combined with other compounds found in sewers it creates maintenance issues for the city’s water treatment facilities.
Over time pipes will become blocked causing raw sewage to back up into homes and overflow onto streets; the costs associated with unclogging or replacing residential pipes can be in the thousands.
Fats, oils and grease do not only come from cooking meat; butter and margarine, shortening, sauces and dairy products also contain components that can solidify when poured down the drain.
Here are a few best practices to keep in mind while cooking at home:
- Large amounts of grease, such as oil used to fry your turkey, can be disposed at one of the city’s oil disposal locations between November 15, 2020 and January 8, 2021:
- Fire Station 306, 16645 W Clearview Boulevard
- Fire Station 304, 24900 N 163rd Avenue
- Used yellow cooking oil can be disposed year-round at the city’s permanent yellow oil disposal station.
- Fire Station 305, 15517 N Parkview Place
- For smaller amounts of grease, let it solidify in a pan or jar and then throw it in the trash can in a covered container.
- Avoid putting food scraps down the drain; fat from food remnants will still accumulate and cause problems in your pipes.
- Try using your garbage disposal as little as possible; don’t use it as a food grinder.
- Use a paper towel to soak up as much fat and oil from greasy dishes or pans before putting them in the sink or dishwasher. Try to put as little grease down the drain as possible!
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, Thanksgiving is the number one day for home cooking fires. U.S. fire departments respond to more than 1,000 fires each year in which a deep fryer is involved. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says deep fryer fires result in more than $15 million in property damage each year and hot oil splatter can cause serious burns to an adult or life-threatening injuries to a child.
Here are some tips to prevent deep fryer fires and serious burns:
- Make sure your turkey is properly thawed BEFORE lowering it slowly into the pot. Frozen or partially frozen turkeys placed into fryers can cause a spillover effect.
- Avoid a hot oil spill over by first filling the pot with cold oil and then lower the thawed turkey into the pot to determine how much oil should be added or removed.
- More than 1/3 of fires involving a fryer start in a garage or on a patio, close to the house. Cook outdoors at a safe distance from any buildings or trees or wooden structures (i.e. deck or patio)
- Place the fryer on a flat surface. Many fryers can easily tip over, spilling the hot oil.
- Shut off the fuel source or flame when adding the turkey to the hot oil to prevent a dangerous flare-up if oil does spill over the rim.
- The lid and handles will become extremely hot, so please use well insulated pot holders!
- Never leave a hot turkey fryer unattended.
- Do not use ice or water to cool down oil or extinguish an oil fire.
- Keep a fire extinguisher that is approved for grease fires nearby while cooking.
For more information on how you can keep your pipes fat-free, call the city’s environmental division at 623.222.7000.
Learn more about deep fryer safety by calling Surprise Fire-Medical, 623.222.5000.