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The City of New Orleans

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

Thanksgiving Fire Safety

November 26, 2013

Turkey Fryer Safety

A longtime food favorite in New Orleans the delicious deep-fried turkey has quickly grown in popularity thanks to celebrity chefs such as Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse. There are some dangers when attempting to prepare this holiday treat.

Here's why using a deep-fryer can be dangerous:              

 

  • Many units easily tip over, spilling the hot oil within the cooking pot.
  • If the cooking pot is overfilled with oil, the oil may spill out of the unit when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot. Oil may hit the burner/flames causing a fire to engulf the entire unit.
  • Partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover effect. This too, may result in an extensive fire.
  • With no thermostat controls, the units also have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion.
  • The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards.

If you absolutely must use a turkey fryer, here are some tips for safer use:

 

  • Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other material that can burn.
  • Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks or in garages.
  • Make sure the 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 don't watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  • Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use. Even after use, never allow children or pets near the turkey fryer. 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 don't mix, and water causes oil to spill over, causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.
  • The National Turkey Federation recommends refrigerator thawing and to allow approximately 24 hours for every five pounds of bird thawed in the refrigerator.
  • Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. In the event of an emergency immediately call 9-1-1 for help.
  • Even after use, never allow children or pets near the turkey fryer. The oil inside the cooking pots remains dangerously hot, hours after use.

General Cooking Safety

We would like to remind our citizens to be safe with all your holiday cooking:

 

  • Don’t leave pots unattended
  • Keep oven mitts and towels a safe distance away from open flames
  • Have pan lids available to smother grease fires
  • Always have a fire extinguisher available in your kitchen
  • In the case of a fire call the fire department first, even if you make an attempt to put the fire out on your own
  • Make sure all smoke detectors in the home are working

 

On behalf of the entire New Orleans Fire Department we would like to wish everyone a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

 

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Last updated: 11/26/2013 3:02:08 PM

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