Turkey Frying – Delicious But Dangerous

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Provided by Prince William Fire & Rescue

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, a time when family and friends come together to celebrate all it has to offer including a home cooked meal. Cooking fires is the number one cause of home fires and injuries in the U.S., with Thanksgiving being the peak day for cooking fires. On Thanksgiving Day, more than any other day in the year, the average number of home fires more than double, resulting in injuries, deaths and millions of dollars in property damage.

One contributor to Thanksgiving Day fires is turkey frying. Over the years, turkey frying has become extremely popular during the holiday season. Retailers anxious to capture the market during this brief and prosperous holiday season, stock their aisles and shelves with turkey fryers. Although the industry has made great strides in the improvement of turkey fryers, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states they still are not safe to use due to the amount of oil and high temperatures used to
cook a turkey. Even well-informed and careful consumers are at risk when using this product. The use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers is discouraged by the NFPA unless used by properly trained professionals such as grocery stores, specialty food retailers and restaurants, who use professional quality equipment. The hazards associated with turkey fryers are:

  • Hot oil can spill or splash over onto the flame, igniting a fire. This can occur during the cooking process especially when placing the turkey in the fryer or when removing it.
  • Fryers designed for outdoor use with or without a stand are prone to collapse, causing a major hot oil spill.
  • Cooking oil is combustible. If heated beyond its cooking temperature (375°), its vapors can ignite.
  • Steam can result from hot cooking oil exposed to snow or rain, causing a splattering of the hot oil leading to burns.
  • The use of turkey fryers in close quarters poses a burn hazard/danger to children,and others in the home. Oil inside a pot can stay dangerously hot for hours after use.
  • DO NOT use in, on or under a garage, deck, breezeway, porch, barn or any structure that can catch fire.
  • When cooked, frozen or partially frozen turkeys, will cause the hot oil to splatter or produce hot steam leading to burns.
  • Should a grease fire occur:
    • NEVER use water to extinguish it!
    • Get out and stay out! Once you’re safely out of the house, call 911.

Please click on the link to view the hazards of turkey frying:


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