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Thanksgiving 101: Safety Tips for Deep Frying a Turkey

The McClellan Law Firm

It's that time of year again for Americans everywhere: Thanksgiving. Traditionally, families eat a turkey dinner with copious amounts of side dishes. Recently, people have begun to deep fry turkeys instead. The process is much faster than using a conventional oven.

But many states are discovering that house fires and other accidents can happen if the deep fryers are not used properly and people aren't careful. Accidents can cause serious injury to those near the deep fryer. Fire departments are hoping for fewer incidents this year and have suggested several ways that families can ensure a safe Thanksgiving.

Things to Remember When Deep Frying a Turkey

  • Always use the fryer outside where there is good ventilation and solid ground; avoid using it on a wooden deck or near things that can easily catch on fire
  • Always keep an eye on the fryer; with so many children running around, it could easily be knocked over
  • Thaw your turkey; any extra liquid could increase the chances of your fryer exploding
  • Check the temperature of the oil consistently; some fryers do not come with a built it thermometer
  • Protect your skin and eyes from possible oil splatter
  • Make sure to follow the instructions for your deep fryer

The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns people that turkey fryers can easily tip over if they aren't careful. The biggest danger is the hot oil that can spill or bubble out; oil can also catch fire if it gets too hot. They suggest that the best way to avoid injury is to forego deep-frying the turkey altogether. But if you do choose that form of cooking, taking extra safety precautions can ensure good Thanksgiving memories.