The Danger With Frying Turkeys

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Provided by Prince William County

Deep-fried turkeys can be absolutely scrumptious, but getting them cooked can be hazardous. There are rules to follow when cooking turkeys in fryer kits in order to keep you and your family safe.

Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department Battalion Chief Thomas Jarman advises people to never put too much oil in the pot, never try to cook a frozen turkey in a turkey fryer, never let the oil overheat, keep children and pets away from the fryer, keep the fryer 15 feet away from structures and always cook outdoors.

Flames and oil, working in harmony, can produce a golden-brown, crispy-on-the-outside, moist-on-the-inside turkey. But watch out when the two clash. Disastrous spills can happen if the fryer pot has too much oil in it. If the oil overflows, it can meet the open flame and whoosh into a dangerous flare up.

Jarman said people should monitor the oil temperature and the fryer “100 percent of the time.” Overheated oil can combust. A frozen turkey can explode when it meets the hot oil, and children and pets could overturn the fryer kit.

Cooking outside, away from any structure is highly recommended, Jarman said. “In case there is a flare up, it keeps it away from your house.”

Jarman also said people should consider a new fryer kit if they have an older model. “If you have an old fryer, one that’s older than five years old, get a new one. The new ones have safety devices to prevent … disasters.”

Jarman added that people shouldn’t delay in calling for help in case of a flare up. “Don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1. The Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue is here to ensure that you have a safe and happy holiday.”

Visit the Prince William County Fire and Rescue website for more safety tips on frying a turkey. Visit the County’s YouTubechannel to see a video about the dangers of frying a turkey.


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