Turkey fryers offer a delicious alternative on how to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. They also present an enormous fire hazard if not handled properly.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, turkey fryers are responsible for five deaths, 60 injuries and more than $15 million in property damage every year.
Fairbury Rural Fire Department safety buff, Chris Parker, likes frying turkey himself. His hope is that everyone in his department’s coverage area and beyond exercises caution this Thanksgiving.
“Make sure that the bird is completely thawed,” Parker said. “If you’re planning on frying a turkey for Thursday, it should have been in the refrigerator Monday defrosting, because water and hot oil do not mix.”
In 18 years with the department, Parker says he’s never responded to a turkey fryer accident in Fairbury or the surrounding area.
Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors on a flat surface, and not on wooden decks or garages. More safety tips can be found online at NFPA.org.