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By Martine Wolfe-Miller, Communications Officer
MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (November 23, 2015) – With the holidays fast approaching, the Mount Pleasant Fire Department would like to share important safety tips with backyard chefs who prefer to serve fried turkey. A new public service announcement is available on the Fire Channel to share what not to do when deep frying a turkey.
“When preparing a fried turkey, Lowcountry cooks should remember to follow safety tips in order to enjoy a typical southern delicacy without sacrificing safety for good taste,” said Fire Chief Herb Williams. “Remember that the use of turkey fryers by consumers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries and the destruction of property. View our latest safety video on the Fire Channel to keep you and your family safe during the holidays."
The National Fire Protection Association (NPFA) urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments, such as grocery stores, specialty food retailers, and restaurants for the preparation of the dish, or consider a new type of "oil-less" turkey fryer.
If you plan to fry a turkey at home, Chief Williams recommends the following safety tips.
Deep-Frying Turkey Safety Tips
- 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. Remember to use your best judgment when attempting to fight a fire. If the fire is manageable, use an all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call 9-1-1 for help.