Turkey fryers: a potential hazard for serious accidents and fires
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[November 21, 2012]
As millions of families across the state prepare to celebrate
Thanksgiving with a traditional feast, the Office of the State Fire
Marshal reminds residents to exercise safety while cooking,
especially when using turkey fryers. According to the National Fire
Protection Association, Thanksgiving continues to be the leading day
for home cooking fires in U.S., more than any other day of the year.
According to the NFPA, Illinois was second among the 10 states that
reported the highest number of fires during Thanksgiving between
2005 and 2010, with the use of turkey fryers being one of the main
causes of fires. NFPA reminds consumers that while turkey fryers are
becoming a popular method for cooking, they continue to be a
potential fire hazard. This can lead to devastating consequences,
including serious burns and the destruction of property.
members in charge of cooking should always practice common sense and
safe cooking practices," said Larry Matkaitis, Illinois fire
marshal. "Turkey fryers continue to pose a considerable risk for
fires if recommended procedures are not followed."
Many fire departments have shown that deep fryers tend to be
top-heavy and have a risk of tipping over, overheating or spilling
hot oil, leading to fires and burns. When a frozen, cold or even wet
turkey is submerged, bubbling hot oil spills over the pot's rim and
onto the burner, causing an explosion.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal, in accordance with the U.S.
Consumer Safety Commission, recommends that consumers who prefer the
method of turkey fryers should follow the following guidelines:
Keep turkey fryer
in FULL VIEW while burner is on. Do not leave unattended.
Place turkey fryer
in an open area AWAY from all walls, fences or other structures.
Never use IN, ON,
UNDER or close to a garage, breezeway, carport, porch or any
structure that can catch fire.
turkey (USDA says 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds) and dry it
before cooking. Wet turkeys can produce excessive hot oil
splatter when added to the oil.
Raise and lower
food SLOWLY into fryer to reduce splatter and avoid burns.
COVER bare skin
with protective clothing when adding or removing food from the
Check the oil temperature frequently.
[to top of second
Make sure there is
at least 2 feet of space between the liquid propane tank and
Place the liquid
propane gas tank and fryer so that if there any wind, it blows
the heat of the fryer away from the gas tank.
Center the pot
over the burner on the cooker.
If oil begins to
smoke, immediately turn gas supply OFF.
If a fire occurs, immediately call 911.
DO NOT attempt to extinguish the fire with water.
Other holiday cooking safety tips:
Stay in the
kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling food.
If you are
simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly.
Use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
Keep anything that can catch fire --
oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains
-- away from your stovetop.
In case of a cooking fire, remember the following information:
If your home
catches fire, leave the building immediately and call 911.
DO NOT PUT WATER
ON A GREASE FIRE! Pouring water on burning grease or oil will
not extinguish the fire. Burning oil will splash, spreading the
grease fire over a larger area.
For an oven fire,
turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
If clothes catch
fire, STOP, DROP AND ROLL to extinguish the flames.
If a frying pan catches fire, turn off
the burner immediately and smother the fire.
For more information about fire safety and prevention, visit
Office of the State Fire
received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]