It is the season to use turkey fryers to prepare your holiday meals. However, this device can be extremely dangerous if you do not use it properly. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association strongly discourages the use of turkey fryers. The Association believes that turkey fryers that use oil are not suitable or acceptably safe by even a well-informed or careful consumer. The fryers use a large quantity of cooking oil at high temperatures that can pose a significant danger for burns and fires. The majority of fires due to turkey fryer incidents happen when the oil is being heated before the actual food is added to the fryer.
If you plan on using a turkey fryer to fix your holiday dinner, it is critical that you know how to properly work the device. The following tips will help keep you, your family, and your home safe when using a turkey fryer.
1. Only use turkey fryers outdoors and at a safe distance from buildings and other combustible materials.
2. Never use a turkey fryer on a wooden deck or inside of a garage.
3. Use the turkey fryer on a flat surface to prevent accidental typing of the hot oil.
4. NEVER leave a turkey fryer unattended. There is not a thermostat on most fryers, so you cannot tell how hot the oil is. The oil can get overheated to a point where it can catch fire if you are not diligent.
5. Do not let children or pets near the turkey fryer while it is in use.
6. Do not overfill the fryer with oil. Follow the manufacturer instructions on the proper amount of oil that is needed to cook your turkey.
7. Wear safety glasses and use insulated pot holders to protect from oil splatters.
8. Make sure that the turkey is completely thawed when you put it in a turkey fryer. Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator 24 hours for every 5 pounds of weight. Also, make sure that the meat is completely dry before you place it in the fryer. There is a risk of injury from splashing oil due to cooking partially frozen meats.
9. Avoid touching the sides of the turkey fryer without protection as you could be severely burned.
10. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby for accidents. Do not use water to extinguish an oil fire. If a fire is not manageable with a fire extinguisher, call 911 immediately.
11. If any smoke is coming from the fryer, the devise should be turned off immediately because the oil has become overheated.
12. Raise and lower food inside the turkey fryer slowly to reduce spatters and avoid burns.
AKE Safety Equipment wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season!
US Fire Administration:http://www.usfa.fema.gov/mobile/safety/focus.shtm
National Fire Protection Association: http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/causes/cooking/turkey-fryers
Consumer Product Safety Commission: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/News-Releases/2014/Stand-By-Your-Pan-Cook-Safely-This-Thanksgiving-to-Prevent-Kitchen-Fires-/