- With Thanksgiving a little more than a week away, firefighters urge folks to
use caution when operating turkey fryers.
year, deep fryer fires cause an average of five deaths, 60 injuries, and more
than $15 million in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection
Ed Thompson, training officer for the Beckley Fire Department, explained fryer
fires happen fast, causing Thanksgiving to “Go from a happy celebration to a
Here are some tips Thompson provided for people operating
1.Don't Overfill Your Pot
With Oil - If the cooking pot is overfilled, the oil may spill out of the pot
when the turkey is lowered in. Oil can hit the burner and cause a significant
fire. Follow the owner's manual and make sure the oil level is at the proper
2.Don't Drop a
Frozen or Partially Thawed Turkey Into the Oil - Frozen or partially frozen
turkey placed into the fryer can cause the oil to spill over the pot and may
result in a significant fire or burn injury. Do not use water to thaw your
turkey. Make sure your turkey is properly thawed and slowly lower it into the
pot to prevent the oil from splashing.
3.Don't Place Your
Turkey Fryer Close to Structures or On Decks - Often, fires involving a fryer
start in a garage or on a patio or deck. Cook outdoors and on a level, firm,
and non-combustible surface. Maintain a safe distance from any buildings and
keep the fryer off of any wooden structures.
4.Don't Use Water
or Ice - When ice or water comes into contact with hot oil, the water
vaporizes, causing steam bubbles to pop and spray hot oil. Do not use ice or
water to cool down oil or extinguish an oil fire. Keep an extinguisher approved
for cooking or grease fires nearby and immediately call 911 for help.
5.Don't Leave Your
Fryer Unattended - Frying involves cooking with a combustible cooking oil or
grease. Many frying units do not have thermostat controls and if left
unwatched, the oil will continue to heat until the oil ignites.
6.Don't Use Your
Fryer on an Unlevel Surface - Many fryers are very top-heavy and can be
unstable if not used on a level surface. Fryers that are used on an unlevel
surface can tip over causing a significant fire or burn injury.