Thanksgiving Safety

Ah, nothing is better than turkey on Thanksgiving Day, and now, many families are choosing to deep fry their turkeys instead of cooking them the old fashioned way. There are dangers associated with using turkey fryers. Roanoke Fire-EMS and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff recommend consumers who choose to fry turkeys follow the following safety guidelines:
  • Keep fryer in full view while burner is on.
  • Place fryer in an open area away from all walls, fences, or other structures.
  • Never use in, on, or under a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or any structure that can catch fire.
  • Raise and lower food slowly to reduce splatter and avoid burns.
  • Cover bare skin when adding or removing food.
  • Check the oil temperature frequently.
  • If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn gas supply off.
  • If a fire occurs, immediately call 911. Do not attempt to extinguish fire with water.
Fryer Preparation
For safest operation, Roanoke Fire-EMS and the CPSC staff recommends that consumers follow these guidelines as they prepare to use a turkey fryer:
  • Make sure there is at least 2 feet of space between the liquid propane tank and fryer burner.
  • Place the liquid propane gas tank and fryer so that any wind blows the heat of the fryer away from the gas tank.
  • Center the pot over the burner on the cooker.
  • Completely thaw (USDA says 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds) and dry turkey before cooking. Partially frozen and/or wet turkeys can produce excessive hot oil splatter when added to the oil.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions to determine the proper amount of oil to add. If those are not available:
    • Place turkey in pot
    • Fill with water until the turkey is covered by about 1/2 inch of water
    • Remove and dry turkey
    • Mark water level. Dump water, dry the pot, and fill with oil to the marked level.
By following the above directions, you can ensure that your family will have a happy, safe and tasty Thanksgiving holiday!