How not to fry a turkey: Advice from Austin firefighters

Texas ranks number one in the nation for the most grease and cooking fires on Thanksgiving day, according to the Austin Fire Department.

AUSTIN - Every Thanksgiving, thousands of people deep fry their turkeys.

But with that, comes the risk for potential fires or injuries. The Austin Fire Department said Texas ranks number one for the most grease and cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day.

Fire departments in the United States respond to more than 1,400 fires on average on Thanksgiving day, more than three times the average of any other day during the year.

To prevent a turkey frying fire, AFD has this advice:

  • Do not place too much oil in the fryer pot. Oil can hit the burner and cause flare ups. Follow the owner’s manual and do a “dry run” with water to make sure you have the correct proportions
  • Make sure your turkey is completely thawed and not frozen. Partially frozen turkeys can cause spillover and can result in a fire. Give it at least three days in the fridge since it has been frozen
  • Do not fry too close to structures – especially wooden structures
  • Do not use water or ice to cool down an oil fire. When ice comes into contact with hot oil, the water vaporizes, causing steam bubbles to pop and spray hot oil
  • Never leave your turkey alone! Many frying units do not have thermostat controls and if left unattended, oil will continue to heat until the point of combustion

“We just want you to remember to be safe, enjoy the holidays and just always be aware,” said Austin Fire Department Battalion Chief Joe Limon.

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