Thanksgiving turkey frying can be fun…and dangerous

Crime & Safety

The Burton Fire Department demonstrates what not to do when frying your turkey

Turkey frying is popular with families all across the country, but one wrong move could lead to a potentially deadly situation.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, turkey fryers cause an average of 5 deaths, 60 injuries and $15 million dollars in property damage each year.

The Burton Fire Department set a controlled blaze to show how quickly it can get out of control.

The first mistake people make is filling their pot too full of oil. Remember that when the turkey goes in, the surface area expands and can overflow the pot. Experts say fill the pot with enough oil to just go an inch over the bird.

Don’t make the oil too hot. About 350 degrees is just right. The red line temperatures are there for a reason, a warning against getting the oil boiling.

Do not put a frozen turkey directly in the hot oil. The water that will burn off the bird will not mix with the oil and create a messy and potentially dangerous situation.

“The placement of the bird in the oil too fast (is a mistake),” according to Lt Eric Swanson of the Burton Fire Department. “A lot of people don’t use safety gear when they place the turkey in the oil and don’t realize the steam is created as the turkey is lowered and it gets hot and they may get burned and drop it and when they drop it the oil splashes out hits the flames. it has reached its temperature of ignition at that point and it ignites and that’s when bad things happen.”

“Definitely don’t recommend doing it under a structure, even a carport because heat rises and it definitely could catch something on fire above it,” said Lt. Eric Swanson, Burton Firefighter. “Just think safety, The heat when you drop it some sort of glove to protect your hand. think the distance from your house, think extinguisher, think worst-case scenario and be prepared for it.”

Another important reminder, always check the lines from your propane tank to the burner to make sure they are not cracked or broken and could leak.

Firefighters recommend you always have a fire extinguisher on hand just in case.

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