Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends, and to eat and enjoy time together but the dangers in frying your turkey can spoil your plans. Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day.
Today, the NC Department of Insurance and the State Fire Marshal’s Office along with the Raleigh Fire Department discussed what can happen with these oil fires. Within seconds of the half-frozen turkey being lowered into oil heated to 350 degrees, it often begins to bubble over. A fire can ignite when the hot oil splashes on the flame below and change the scene from harmless to dangerous. The only way for everyone to be safe is to wear proper protective gear – like firefighters’ turnout gear.
“Turkey fryers use a large amount of oil heated to very high temperatures,” said Mike Causey, Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal. “Splashing oil can lead to severe burns or even cause a structure fire. I would not attempt to fry a turkey without the proper gear.”
Turkey fryers that use cooking oil are not safe to use by even the most experienced cooking consumer. The Office of State Fire Marshal, along with the NFPA, urges NC residents to seek out other ways to prepare your holiday centerpiece. Consider using an oil-less, infrared fryer or more traditional methods such as roasting your turkey in the oven. Another option is to purchase a fried turkey from your local supermarket or favorite restaurant.
Knowing the dangers is one of the most important steps you can take to keep you and your family safe this holiday season. If you are not a firefighter dressed for action, then you are not equipped to safely fry a turkey this Thanksgiving.