The Dangers of Deep Frying Turkeys

By: Steve Ham, Lofton Safety Services

Nov 17, 2020

Thanksgiving and turkeys go hand-in-hand for many people throughout the U.S., but with that comes many dangers. Every year deep-fryer fires are responsible for 5 deaths, 60 injuries, the destruction of 900 homes, and more than $15-million in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association.   So before you stick your turkey in the fryer, check out these safety tips first:  

  • Safety starts days before.  The turkey should be thawed in the refrigerator a few days before.  NEVER fry a frozen turkey!
  • Fryers should always be used outdoors, on a solid level surface and a safe distance away from buildings and flammable materials.
  • NEVER use a fryer on a wooden deck, under a patio cover, in a garage or enclosed space.
  • DO NOT overfill the fryer with cooking oil.
  • Gently place the turkey into the oil, DO NOT drop.  Even a small amount of cooking oil coming in contact with the burner can cause a large fire.
  • NEVER leave the fryer unattended.  The oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  • Cooking without a thermometer can result in the oil heating to dangerous levels, which can become combustible above 350 degrees.
  • NEVER let children or pets near the fryer when in use or after use as the oil remains hot for hours after.
  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts, wear long sleeves, and use safety goggles to protect from splatter.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby...just in case.
  • NEVER use water to put out an oil fire.  It will spread and cause considerable damage.

In the event a fire starts, use a fire extinguisher to try to put the flames out. NEVER use water to extinguish an oil fire. If you can’t put the flames out, wait in a safe location away from the fryer and call the fire department. See a doctor right away if you suffer any burns.  

If you are unsure of deep frying a turkey on your own, contact your local grocery store or restaurant, or consider using an oil-less turkey fryer.


About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Contact us today


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