TURKEY-FRYER SAFETY TIPS CAN ENHANCE THE HOLIDAYS

TURKEY-FRYER SAFETY TIPS CAN ENHANCE THE HOLIDAYS

The Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Services Department wishes everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving. With safety in mind, the department is offering some holiday tips regarding turkey fryers.

Deep fryers can be dangerous. Many units easily tip over, spilling the hot oil, which can easily catch fire.

If the cooking pot is overfilled, the oil may spill out when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot. Oil may hit the burner/flames causing a fire to engulf the entire unit.

Partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover effect. This too, may result in fire.

With no thermostat controls, the units also have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion.

The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards.

To minimize danger to your loved ones and your home, be sure to carefully follow your fryer's instructions. Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other material that can burn. Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks or in garages. The following tips apply to all fryers:

* Only deep fry smaller turkeys-up to 12 pounds.

* To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.

* To determine how much oil you'll need, put the turkey in the basket and place it in the pot. Add water until it reaches one to two inches above the turkey. Lift the turkey out, and use a ruler to measure the distance from the water to the top of the fryer. Pour out the water and dry the fryer completely before adding oil.

* Before frying, pat the turkey dry with paper towels to keep the hot oil from splattering and popping.

* Slowly lower the turkey into the oil to prevent splashing or spilling any oil.

* Make sure the fryer is 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.

* Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. Safety goggles are also recommended 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.

* Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. Remember to use your best judgment when attempting to fight a fire. If the fire is manageable, use an all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call 911 for help.

* 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, hours after use.

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (575) 525-5801.