Turkey fryer safety tips from the Cincinnati FD

The Cincinnati Fire Department is reminding the public to read all directions and exercise caution when using turkey fryers during the holiday season.

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - According to authorities, unattended cooking is one of the top causes of residential fires in Cincinnati, and turkey fryers add to the risk of fire.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says the majority of fires, flames and burns occurred while the oil was being heated prior to adding the turkey.

Burns from splashing oil can also occur, especially when adding frozen meat.  All meat should be thoroughly thawed and dried before adding it to the hot oil.

Other safety tips:

  • Keep the fryer in view when it is on and keep it away from buildings and other structures, such as garages, carports and decks.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended.
  • Place the fryer outside when in use.  Do not put it in a garage or carport.
  • To avoid burns, make sure the meat is thawed and lower it into the hot oil slowly.
  • Follow the directions closely to make sure your fryer is operating properly.  Make sure you use the correct amount of oil, following the manufacturer's directions.  Too much oil could make it spill over when you add the turkey.
  • Keep a close eye on the temperature.  If the fryer begins to smoke, turn it off.
  • The sides, handles and pot lid become dangerously hot when the fryer is in use.  Stay clear of the fryer to prevent burns and use potholders when moving the lid or touching the handles.
  • Make sure the fryer is clean of any old grease, especially on the outside so that it will not catch fire.
  • Keep an ABC multi-purpose dry chemical fire extinguisher nearby.  Never use water to extinguish a grease fire.  Water and grease are a dangerous combination and could cause hot grease to splatter.
  • Keep children, individuals with disabilities and pets at a safe distance from the cooking operation.

The Cincinnati Fire Department encourages citizens to have a working smoke alarm installed on every level of the home and in each bedroom or sleeping area. For maximum protection, the public is encouraged to use both ionization and photoelectric fire alarm technologies in their homes. In addition to individual ionization and photoelectric alarms, combination alarms that include both technologies in a single device are available.

Each member of the household should also know their home fire escape plan and practice it twice a year. Guests should be aware of the escape plan and the location of any fire extinguishers in case there is an emergency.

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