Did you know that on Thanksgiving your local fire department responds to more fires than almost any other day of the year? Your first thought may be that oven and stoves (or your dear aunt's fine cooking) are the cause of these fires but that is not the case. It is the novel concept of deep fat frying your turkey that causes the spike in household fires. Currently, both the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and Underwriter's Laboratory (U.L.) strongly urge consumers not to fry turkeys. In fact, U.L feels so strongly in the poor safety design of all oil based turkey fryers that they will NOT place their infamous stamp of approval on a single product.
You may be asking yourself, "Why are turkey fryers so dangerous?" So let's think about it a little further. A fryer uses hot oils to cook the turkey. The turkey fryers currently on the market do not have temperature control devices to limit the oil temperature or spill prevention devices to prevent these hot oils from easily spilling/splashing out and igniting surrounding materials or causing serious burns. The video below from U.L. does a great job of demonstrating the fire hazards associated with turkey deep fat fryers.
If you MUST fry your turkey this year, our recommendation is to use a new type of "oil-less" turkey fryers. These are essentially infrared fryers that are considered to be much safer while still offering the same moist results.
Please be safe this Thanksgiving holiday.
Lisa Mundt brings over 10 years of safety experience to Westfield Insurance. She is based out of our Duluth, GA service office and has provided safety consulting services to many different industries including construction, retail, manufacturing, technology based organizations and transportation accounts.