JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Are you planning to fry a turkey for Thanksgiving this year?
While this is a delicious dish for most people, it can also come with some dangers. Officials with American Medical Response (AMR) encourage Mississippians to avoid residential fires and injuries when they fry a turkey.
Here are some tips to avoid serious injuries or damage to your home:
- Never leave turkey fryers unattended. Due to the risk, it is wise to have two fry cooks.
- Always keep children and pets away from the fryer. AMR recommends drawing a circle ten feet in diameter around the fryer and declaring it a “kid-free zone.”
- Always use turkey fryers outdoors. Do not use them in rain or snow, since water and hot oil can splatter and even erupt.
- Always keep fryers away from flammable materials. Do not use them under eaves, porches or carports or near walls, fences, leaves, bushes or trees. Do not use fryers in garages.
- Always place fryers on a flat, stable, non-flammable surface such as concrete. Do not fry the bird on a deck.
- Always thaw the turkey thoroughly. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says proper thawing requires 24 hours for every four to five pounds.
- Never overfill the fryer.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Never heat the oil above the recommended temperature. If you see smoke, turn off the burner immediately because that means the oil is too hot.
- Always wear long sleeves, flame-retardant gloves and shoes with closed toes.
- Always use a thermometer to monitor food temperature. Check the oil temperature frequently.
- Never move the fryer once it is in operation.
- Never let the cooks consume alcohol while tending the fryer.
- Always lower the turkey slowly into the oil.
- Never stand directly over hot oil.
- Always make sure the oil is completely cooled before removing it from the fryer. Remember, the oil can stay hot for hours after the heat source is turned off.
- Always keep a fire extinguisher with you when using a turkey fryer.
- Never try to extinguish an oil fire with water.