The Office of The Illinois State Fire
Marshal encourages residents to take extra care with turkey deep fryers
during Thanksgiving Holiday
Traditional oven cooking: a safer alternative
to turkey fryers
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[November 26, 2014]
SPRINGFIELD – The Office of the
Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is urging residents across the
state to keep in mind the importance of fire safety during the
upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Reports from the National
Fire Protection Association (NFPA) continue to indicate that
Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires in the Unites
The OSFM also recommends using the traditional oven as the safest
way to cook the turkey. Using a deep fryer carries enormous risk of
serious injuries and fires.
“If a turkey fryer is going to be used, instructions should be read
before use, the appliance should only be used outdoors, and safety
measures should be followed closely to prevent accidents, injuries,
and fires,” said State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis. “Following
instructions and safety tips closely will prevent the turkey fryer
to turn into a devastating tragedy”.
According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS),
deep fryers were considered the main cause of sixteen fires in
Illinois last year. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) 44 incidents involving turkey fryers were reported
in the U.S. including civilian burns, explosions, and carbon
OSFM recommends consumers who prefer this method of turkey frying
follow the following guidelines:
- Keep the turkey fryer in full view while the burner is on.
Do not leave fryers unattended as many units do not have
- Never use the turkey fryer indoors, on, under, or close to a
garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or any structure that can
- Place turkey fryer in an open area away from all walls,
fences, or other structures, and on a flat surface to reduce
- Completely thaw (USDA says 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds)
and dry turkey before cooking. Wet or frozen turkeys can produce
excessive hot oil splatter when added to the oil.
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- Cover bare skin with protective clothing when adding or
removing food from the fryer.
- Check the oil temperature frequently.
- Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use
and after the turkey is removed; the cooking pot can remain
dangerously hot for hours.
- To avoid spill over, do not overfill the fryer.
- Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when
touching pot or lid handles.
- Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If a fire
occurs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
For additional home fire safety information please visit
the OSFM website at:
[Illinois Office of the State Fire