Turkey Fryer Safety

TturkeyNotGarageurkey frying is an exceptional way to lock in the delicious flavor and juices of a Thanksgiving turkey while offering a crisp and tasty alternative to the traditionally roasted main dish. Unfortunately, turkey frying can be very dangerous if it’s done without some simple fire safety knowledge.

According to the National Fire Protection Association’s 2012 Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment report, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires. Most turkey fryer fires are preventable. Recognizing some common mistakes is a critical step in reducing your risk of a fire or a potentially fatal burn.

Tips from the Fire Marshal's Office:

  • Use a long match or spark igniter to light your burner and never leave the fryer unattended.
  • Keep your hands, hair, face, and loose clothing away from the burner at all times.
  • Place the fryer on a flat surface.
  • Place the fryer at least 10 feet from any combustible surface, and do not place it on a deck.
  • Never use an LP gas cylinder if it shows damage, dents, gouges, bulges, fire damage, erosion, leakage, excessive rust or other forms of visual external damage.
  • Turkeys must be completely thawed and dried before placing in the fryer. A wet, or partially thawed turkey will cause the oil to spatter, causing serious burns.
  • Avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite if it makes contact with a hot burner.
  • Choose a smaller turkey when frying. Eight to 10 lbs. is best, avoid turkeys over 10 lbs.
  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer.
  • Be prepared and have a fire extinguisher (multi-purpose ABC type) ready at all times.
  • Protect hands, arms, and face when lowering the turkey into the fryer.
  • Do not exceed oil temperatures of over 350˚F.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, shut off the gas, extinguish the flame, and check for leaks. This can be done by spraying soapy water on all of the gas connections.
  • Shut off the fuel when adding the turkey to the hot oil to prevent a flare-up if oil should spill over the rim.
  • Prior to cooking, to avoid an oil spill-over, fill the pot with oil and then lower the turkey into the pot to determine how much oil should be added or removed before turning the fryer on.
  • Never use ice or water to cool down the oil or extinguish an oil fire.
Finally accidents do happen. Make sure you have a way contact the fire department should a fire or burn happen.