More cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year, according to State Farm claims data. In fact, grease and cooking-related claims more than double on Thanksgiving Day compared to an average day in November. With the popularity of turkey frying, people are at risk for fryer-related fires and injuries.
Fire departments urge those who fry turkeys to take safety precautions so their celebration doesn’t turn into tragedy.
Consumer-grade turkey fryers use a substantial quantity of cooking oil at high temperatures, which poses a significant fire threat.
The number one rule: is never fry a frozen turkey. In one demonstration, as soon as the frozen turkey hit the hot oil, it burst into a ball of flames.
The oil used for cooking should be heated to about 350 degrees.
Even following the proper safety guidelines, grease can splash all over the place and start a small fire that could get out of control. Make sure you have everything you need in case there’s trouble, like a fire extinguisher — not a hose.
Another important thing to remember is that oil remains hot for hours after the unit is turned off.
Other helpful safety tips:
- Never use Turkey Fryers on wooden decks or in a garage.
- Make sure the fryer is used on a flat surface to reduce tipping.
- Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you don’t watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
- Never let children or pets near the fryer while in use. Even after use, use caution; the oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot for hours.
- Do not overfill the fryer.
- Be careful with marinades. Oil and water don’t mix. Water causes oil to spill over, creating a fire or even an explosion hazard.
U.S. fire departments are responding to more than 1,000 fires each year in which a deep fryer is involved. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 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 children.
If you don’t want to risk getting hurt or worse, the best advice is to just buy a prepared turkey.