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Turkey fryer fire reported in Laurel on Thanksgiving

Posted: 10:38 AM, Nov 22, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-22 10:38:21-05
Turkey fryer fire reported in Laurel on Thanksgiving

Be careful if you plan on deep frying your turkey this Thanksgiving.

The Anne Arundel County Fire Department reports there has already been one turkey fryer fire Thursday morning. 

Crews were sent to the 8100 block of Pennington Drive in Laurel for a reported fire on a deck caused by a turkey fryer. Officials say the fire was out when they got to the house. 

The Anne Arundel County Fire Department listed the following issues that could happen when deep frying a turkey:

  • If the cooking pot is overfilled with oil, the oil may spill out and hit the burner/flames causing a fire to engulf the entire unit.
  • Partially frozen or wet turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover effect. Again, causing extensive fire.
  • Hot oil may splash or spill at any point during the cooking process- when the fryer is jarred or tipped over, the turkey is placed in the fryer or removed, or the turkey is moved from the fryer to the table. Any contact between hot oil and skin could result in serious injury. Any contact between hot oil and nonmetallic materials could lead to serious damage.
  • With no thermostat controls, the units have the potential to overheat to the point of combustion.
  • The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards
  • Rain or snow will create problems with the hot oil and may require a backup plan if precipitation is in your holiday forecast

They recommend the following precautions to prevent fires:

  • Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from other structures and trees.
  • Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from other structures and trees.
  • Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes with the hot oil can cause flare-ups.
  • Watch the weather. Never operate a fryer outdoors in the rain or snow.
  • Place the fryer on a level surface, and avoid moving it once it’s in use.
  • Leave at least two feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane-powered fryer.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.
  • Choose a turkey that is smaller than the maximum weight specified by the fryer manufacturer; a smaller turkey will cook more evenly and is safer
  • Never leave fryers unattended.
  • Purchase a fryer with temperature controls, and observe the oil temperature. Cooking oil that is heated beyond its smoke point can catch fire. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off.
  • Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.
  • Wear goggles to shield your eyes, use oven mitts to protect your hands and arms and keep a grease-rated fire extinguisher close by.
  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
  • Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner, place it on a level surface and cover to let the oil cool overnight before disposal.
  • Opt for an oil-less fryer. Oil-less fryers use infrared heat, rather than oil, to cook the turkey.