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Columbia Fire Department (South Carolina)
Tuesday November 23rd, 2010 :: 11:26 a.m. EST

Advisory

Columbia Fire Department

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Date: November 22, 2010

Michael Thomas, Public Fire Education Office, 545-3701

Deep Fried Turkey

Each year nearly 2,000 fires in the United States occur on Thanksgiving Day causing an average of five deaths, about 25 injuries, and nearly $21 million in property damage.

Columbia Fire Department discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil. These turkey fryers use a substantial quantity of cooking oil at high temperatures, and units currently available for home use pose a significant danger that hot oil will be released at some point during the cooking process. The use of turkey fryers by consumers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries and the destruction of property.

CFD urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments, such as grocery stores, specialty food retailers, and restaurants for the preparation of deep-fried turkey. However, if you are determined to do it your self, practice the following safety tips:

• Turkey fryers always should be used outdoors at least 10 feet 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 for 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.

Address/Location
Columbia Fire Department (South Carolina)
1800 Laurel St
Columbia, SC 29201

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 803-545-3700

Michael Thomas
Fire Prevention
cfdmthomas@columbiasc.net
803-545-3717

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