Prevent a turkey fryer fire this Thanksgiving

AP File Photo
AP File Photo

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — With just a few days until Thanksgiving, News 18 knows turkeys and other holiday foods will soon be thrown in the deep fryer.

It’s no surprise that cooking-related fires are on the rise during this time of year.

West Lafayette Fire Assistant Chief Ed Spitznagle would like to keep those to a minimum, so he has a few safety tips.

Never deep fry a turkey in the house or in a garage. He suggests frying it outdoors, with a fire extinguisher nearby.

Spitznagle says throwing water on a grease fire is the most common mistake.

“Definitely, not any water. No water at all,” he said. “That’s just going to make it worse.”

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.

The U.S. Fire Administration warns of these five dangers when deep frying a turkey:

  • Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.
  • An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and a partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot.
  • Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire.
  • Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire.
  • The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles can get dangerously hot.

For more on fire safety, visit FEMA’s U.S. Fire Administration website.