Tips to Avoid Turkey Frying Dangers

Fried Turkey, A Thanksgiving Treat and Concern

While deep-fried turkey can be a delicious Thanksgiving treat, it can also cause the kind of holiday tragedy that your family wants to avoid.

There have been 111 reports of turkey fryer accidents -- including flames, fires, and serious burns -- since 1998, but the incidents haven't hurt turkey fryer sales. More than 1 million turkey fryers were sold last year alone.

Yet, the threat of injury and property damage prompted one of the largest insurance companies to run a cautionary nationwide ad about turkey frying dangers.

If you are planning on frying your turkey, you should note the following:

• Follow your turkey fryer's guidelines word for word. Do not ignore any safety warnings in the directions.

Bill Weirs Turkey Fry
Bill Weir's Turkey Fry

• Look for a fryer with four or more legs. This will make the fryer more stable.

• Never put a turkey that's not completely thawed in a fryer. Water from a semi-frozen bird reacts with the oil, causing it to literally explode out of the pot.

• Always keep your fryer in full view while burner is on.

• Leave space -- at least two feet -- between a liquid propane tank and fryer burner.

• Always wear protective gloves that cover your hands and arms when adding or removing food.

• Make sure the pot is properly centered over the burner on the cooker.

• Keep close tabs on fryer oil temperature during frying. Do not let it get above the recommended temperature. If oil begins to smoke, the oil is overheated.

• If a fire breaks out, call 911 and get the professionals there immediately. You should not attempt to put out a huge oil fire by yourself.

For more information on turkey frying, please visit the following Web sites:

• The U.S.Consumer Product Safety Commission:
• Underwriters Laboratories Inc:
• The National Fire Protection Association:

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