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Turkey Fryer Safety

By Senior Airman Stuart Bright 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

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Households across America will be cooking in celebration of Thanksgiving and if frying turkey, it is important to take precautions to ensure a safe holiday.

However, without proper guidance and following specific instructions, a delicious meal can turn dangerous.

“People don’t always thaw out a turkey all the way,” said Stacey Beckwith, 2nd Bomb Wing occupation safety and health specialist. “Putting a frozen turkey into the grease will cause a reaction and it will explode.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2016, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,570 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.

“Read the directions and research before,” said Staff Sgt. Ismael Juarez, 2nd BW occupational safety technician. “Preparation is key when it comes to turkey frying. If you haven’t done it before, be sure to get with someone who has.”

Use these tips below so this holiday is safe and accident-free:

  • Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.

  • Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups.

  • Watch the weather. Never operate a fryer outdoors in rain or snow.

  • Place the fryer on a level surface, and avoid moving it once it's in use. ·

  • Leave 2 feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane-powered fryer.

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.

  • Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that's 8 to 10 pounds is best; pass on the turkeys more than 12 pounds.

  • Never leave fryers unattended.

  • Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.

  • Keep a grease-rated fire extinguisher close by.

  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.

  • Once finished, turn off the burner, carefully remove the pot, place it on a level surface and cover to let the oil cool overnight before disposing of.

  • In case of a fire, call 911

For more information go to https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Seasonal-fires/Thanksgiving-safety.