If You See Someone Deep Frying a Turkey, Say Something

By Olivia Katrandjian

Nov 22, 2011 5:34pm

The Department of Homeland Security is on its guard this holiday weekend. If you see someone deep-frying a turkey on a wooden deck, say something.

“Use turkey fryers outdoors at a safe distance [from] buildings,” the DHS tweeted. “Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.”

When it wasn’t preparing for potential international terror threats, the DHS made this video, warning those here at home what might happen if your turkey isn’t completely thawed when you put it in the fryer:

If you’re not convinced of the potential danger, listen to the story of 86-year-old Serafino Alfe, who accidentally deep- fried his leg. He was trying to deep-fry 25 turkeys on Saturday when he spilled 30 quarts of hot oil on his leg, causing third-degree burns, according to the Chicago Sun Times.

ABC News’ grill master Bill Weir gives  the ultimate instructions on how to deep-fry a turkey instead of your leg, including how to tie your child to a tree while your bird is cooking.

Before deep-frying your turkey, read these safety tips from the U.S. Fire Administration:

  • Use turkey fryers outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other combustible materials.
  • Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.
  • Make sure fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  • Never let children or pets near the fryer, even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.
  • To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed, and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix; water causes oil to spill over, causing a fire or even [becoming] an explosion hazard.
  • The National Turkey Federation recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.
  • Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.
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