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Make Thanksgiving dinner a safe one: Turkey fryers not worth the risk | Families

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Make Thanksgiving dinner a safe one: Turkey fryers not worth the risk
Families, News
Make Thanksgiving dinner a safe one: Turkey fryers not worth the risk

Hall County -  The Hall County Fire Services Department says that turkey fryers are not worth the risk.  Cooking is the #1 cause of home fires and fire-related injuries, and on Thanksgiving Day the number of home fires is threefold.  Below is a community press release from the Hall County Fire Department.


Thanksgiving or other holidays this time of year can be a whirlwind of cooking and entertaining guests.   With so much multitasking taking place, fire hazards around the oven or stove-top can easily be overlooked. Of particular concern is the safety of children. "People may not be used to have these small guests in their home," said Capt. Scott Cagle, Hall County Fire Marshal. "The kitchen is not a place to play, and adults should establish a 3-foot child-free zone around the stove."

Outdoor gas-fueled fryers cook up juicy turkeys in a fraction of the time it takes to roast one in an indoor oven. However, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) discourages the residential use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers because they pose an enormous risk of injury. Outdoor fryers heat gallons of cooking oil to very high temperatures to cook the turkey. The risk of this oil being spilled is significant, and the injuries resulting can be severe.

  • The fryers are often bumped or tipped over when the turkey is put in or taken out, presenting a greater risk for the oil to splash or spill. Outdoor fryers that come with a stand pose the greatest risk of tipping.
  • The oil is heated to such a high temperature for frying that the vapors could ignite, resulting in a fire.
  • If you use a turkey fryer when it is raining, the risk of injury is increased. When rain hits the hot oil, the oil can splash or turn to steam, which can cause burns.
  • Numerous fires have ignited when fryers were moved indoors or into a garage to keep the appliance out of the rain.
  • Moving the turkey from the fryer to a serving plate presents another chance of contact with hot oil.
  • Turkeys that are not completely thawed may cause the oil to splash, which can cause burns.

Hall County Fire Services wants residents to be aware of the risk of injury associated with turkey fryers. "For your own safety, use the oil-free models or refrain from using them altogether," Cagle recommends.

Other measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of a cooking fire include:

  • Keep anything that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains away from the stove-top.
  • Always stay in the kitchen while cooking. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Stay alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don't use the stove or stove-top.
  • Keep a lid nearby when cooking. This can be used to put out small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stove-top. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
For more information on the use of turkey fryers, watch this demonstration produced by Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
Families, News