Use Extreme Caution When Deep-Frying Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Category: Personal Insurance

Deep-fried turkeys have become increasingly popular for the Thanksgiving meal. Many people even consider them to be the “easier” way to prepare a turkey. But deep fryers also present a serious fire and burn danger for you and your home.

Turkey fryers can easily tip, spilling hot cooking oil. They can also overflow when the turkey is inserted into the cooking unit, or splatter and even explode if the turkey is not completely thawed. Oil that spills onto the burner can quickly result in an uncontrollable fire. Turkey fryers have been known to heat to the point of combustion because most do not have thermostat controls.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that turkey deep fryers cause more than $15 million in property damage every year, plus injuries due to fire or splash burns. If you plan to deep-fry your Thanksgiving turkey, it is vital that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and exercise extreme caution while you are cooking the bird.

  • Only use the deep fryer outdoors.
  • Completely thaw the turkey before inserting it into the cooking unit.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are frying a turkey.
  • Place the deep fryer away from your house, deck, garage, shed or any other structures or flammable material.
  • Wear shoes, pants and a long-sleeved shirt while manning the fryer.
  • Have a fire extinguisher on hand. Never attempt to put out a fryer fire with water.
  • Carefully measure the oil that you place in the cooking unit to avoid spillage when the turkey is inserted.
  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer.
  • Turn the fryer off immediately if any smoke appears.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended.
  • Be sure that the fryer pot is centered carefully over the burner on the cooking unit.
  • Check the oil temperature frequently
  • Make sure the fryer is on flat ground.
  • If a fire occurs, call 9-1-1.
  • Keep people away from the fryer even after the turkey is done. The oil will remain hot for hours.
  • Use well insulated potholders or over mitts. Consider using safety goggles.

Do not deep-fry your Thanksgiving turkey if you are not prepared to exercise extreme caution. Even the smallest mishap could lead to a major fire. Plan ahead, avoid distractions and keep your eye on the fryer at all times.

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