Keep Thanksgiving Safe
We have all seen the videos and heard the horrifying stories of a turkey fryer exploding and badly injuring the cook or causing a fire. Did you know the number of residential fires actually doubles on Thanksgiving? The Marion Fire Department wants to provide the following tips so that your holiday season is not ruined by a preventable accident.
Turkey Fryer Safety
- Make sure that no children or pets are allowed around the fryer.
- Read and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.Not all fryers are the same.
- Never use an outdoor fryer inside of a building, near a building or inside of any type of enclosure.
- Never leave any type of fryer unattended.Plan to be out there for several hours in the cold or take turns with other adults to keep an eye on the fryer.
- Never consume alcohol while using a fryer.
- Make sure that your fryer is rated for the size of turkey you are going to cook.The oil should be below the maximum oil line or you are asking for trouble.
- Make sure that the turkey is dry and is not frozen.Ice can be hidden between the rib bones or deep within the bird.The turkey should be dried before it is put into the fryer.Wet areas or especially ice can react with the hot oil explosively and cause a disastrous holiday.
- Use a lowering mechanism so the turkey is lowered slowly into the oil.Dropping it in can cause splashing of the hot oil.
- Make sure you have an ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher close by.
- Make sure your clothing covers you completely.It is common for oil to splash out while cooking and especially while you are lowering the turkey.
- Cooking time varies with each fryer but a rough estimate is 3 minutes for each pound of turkey.
- Once you think the turkey is close to done, use the hook that you lowered the turkey into the oil with and slowly lift the turkey out of the oil.
- As a general rule, it is done when the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
- Above all, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the fryer, read the cooking instructions for the turkey, and have a well thought out plan before you begin.
- If a fire starts or someone is injured, call 911 immediately.
Indoor Cooking Safety
- Always stay in the kitchen. Cooking fires are the most common cause of house fires and almost every one of those fires is caused by people leaving the kitchen because the phone rang or they got distracted. If you are nearby, and food begins to burn, or oil begins to spatter, you can stop the problem before a fire begins.
- Keep dish towels, oven mitts, paper towels, or anything else combustible away from the stove top.
- Keep pan handles turned towards the back of the stove so you don’t bump them.
- Keep the proper size lid for the pan you are using nearby so you can cover the pan if the oil begins to spatter or even worse, it catches on fire.
- NEVER throw water onto a grease fire!
Hopefully these tips provide for a safe and happy holiday season for you and your family.