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Helpful Safety Tips for Safely Deep Frying a Turkey

It's the holiday season and the first holiday on the list is Thanksgiving. For many families, Thanksgiving tradition is marked by family get-togethers that involve lots of food. The traditional Thanksgiving meal is a turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, and vegetables.

As Thanksgiving approaches, fire departments are warning families that if they improperly use a turkey fryer to fry a turkey, they can be seriously injured. With more and more people turning to the deep fryer to cook their bird, firefighters are urging families to take extra safety precautions this year.

There were over 5,000 fires caused by deep fryers on Thanksgiving last year. In an effort to decrease that number and prevent more injuries and fatalities this year, the fire department has suggested several ways that families can have a safe holiday.

First and foremost, make sure you are following the instructions that came with the fryer. It will tell you the right amount of oil to use; you don't want a fryer that overflows. It will also tell you what temperature the oil should be at.

Another safety precaution is to make sure the fryer is placed on solid ground. Since house fires are a real danger, you should avoid using the fryer in poorly ventilated rooms or atop wooden decks.

You should always be watching the fryer, especially if there are children around. The fryer will be very hot while it's cooking the turkey and even after it has been turned off. Kids will likely be playing around the house; keeping an eye on the fryer at all times will prevent any spills from happening.

One final important piece of advice when frying a turkey for thanksgiving is to make sure that the turkey is completely thawed. Any excess liquid can cause the fryer to explode. You will want to look back on your Thanksgiving Day as a day of family and fun, not accidents.

Source: ABC 4 News online, "Firefighters Warn of Dangers Using Turkey Fryers," Jasmine Kripalani, 19 November 2010

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