Firefighters warn of turkey-fryer dangers

Mercer County
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In just a few days, millions of Americans will prepare their thanksgiving Turkeys. 

While each family has their own way of cooking it, deep frying the Turkey has become increasingly popular. However, this tasty method comes with a few risks. The U.S. Fire Administration reported that frying, in general, poses the greatest risk of fire. 

Captain Keith Gunnoe with the Princeton Fire Department echoed that statement. 

“You put something in there that has a lot of water content in it and it causes that grease to boil, and when it does, it creates a vapor of gas from the grease and it actually will burn, and it burns rather violently,” Gunnoe explained.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, every year, deep-fryer fires are responsible for five deaths, 60 injuries, the destruction of 900 homes, and more than $15-million in property damage. However, Gunnoe said people can still enjoy that deep fried bird as long as they have a little patience.

“The big safety thing that people need to keep in mind for that is to make sure the turkey is thawed completely,” Gunnoe said. “With the ice crystals in the turkey, if they drop that into the hot hot grease it basically boils that grease of extremely fast, causes a vapor and then you end up with a fire.”

Gunnoe also said its crucial to prepare a safe space to cook it. He recommended using the deep-fryer outside. 

“I would suggest they keep it away from the house, 8 to 10 feet away from the house. Don’t do it underneath a porch awning or any type of roof or anything like that. Do it in the open and just be safe with it,” Gunnoe said. 

Gunnoe urged novice turkey fryers to do plenty of research before they try to deep-fry a turkey this year. 

State Farm’s Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips claimed people should turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil, then turn it on once the turkey is submerged. 

For more Turkey Talk and safety tips, call the Butterball Hotline at 1-800-BUTTERBALL. 

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