Ahhh, Thanksgiving. It’s a time of family, friends, and football – although not always in that order. For most people, the center of attention during the holiday season is the turkey. Bake it, smoke it, roast it, or grill it, it’s all delicious both the first time you eat it and as leftovers for the next few days.
While we might focus on good food to eat, we also have to focus on safety. More than 2000 fires occur every Thanksgiving, and most of those are due to food catching on fire. Much of that is due to deep fat fryers – like the kind you use to deep fry a turkey.
WHY FRYING TURKEYS IS DANGEROUS
Fried turkey may be delicious, but it’s also a major hazard. Imagine it. You’re using a massive amount of hot oil, heating it to high temperatures, and then setting a large bird that may or may not be thawed in the middle of it. Just a little bit of added moisture can create huge oil splatters that cover you and others with severe burns. Set up your fryer in a bad place, and it may tip over, splashing and spreading oil in every direction.
Frying turkeys is considered so dangerous that it’s not even recommended under certain safety controls. No matter how careful you are as an individual, deep frying a turkey is considered incredibly dangerous. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) doesn’t recommend it as a cooking method and has found that none of the deep fryers on the market are safe enough to overcome their concerns because they can all easily tip over.
WHAT TO DO IN AN EMERGENCY
We know that no matter how much we caution you not to fry your turkey, someone will. It happens all the time. Before you do, here’s what you need to know if the worst happens:
- Make sure your bird is as dry and thawed as possible before you put it in the oil. If the bird or oil catches on fire, do not throw water on the flames.
- Do not use your deep fryer on a drizzly day or if snow or ice is melting outside. A single drop of moisture landing in the fryer can cause big problems.
- Never leave your deep fryer unattended. Keep children and pets far away, and never set up next to your house.
- Keep your fire extinguisher close by so you can easily put out a fire, just in case.
- Remember to stop, drop, and roll if you or your clothing catches on fire.
- Make sure someone else knows how to work the fire extinguisher and that everyone (including children) can dial 911.
This Thanksgiving spend time with your family and friends and enjoy good food while making memories. Don’t put yourself, your family, or your home in danger to fry a turkey. No meal is worth a loss of life or home.