Firefighters discuss dangers of deep frying unprepared turkey

When done correctly, deep-fried turkey is tantalizing. (Source: AP)
When done correctly, deep-fried turkey is tantalizing. (Source: AP)
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 3:05 PM EST
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Thanksgiving is just less than one week away and many families are already thinking about the upcoming holiday meal, which in most cases involves a turkey.

“You think about Thanksgiving, you think about the family setting of having that home-cooked meal,” said Pikeville Fire Department Battalion Cheif Mitch Case.

Officials with the Pikeville Fire Department say there are several ways to cook a turkey including roasting, smoking, and, what may be the most dangerous, deep-frying. Officials also say grease fires caused by deep-fryers are a large cause for concern during the holiday season.

“Grease fires are a major issue no matter what time of year it is, but this time of year,” said Case, “it is something that we want to focus on as far as fire prevention and trying to get information out to the community.”

The most important step to ensure your safety while deep-frying is to make sure the turkey is completely thawed before dropping it in hot oil. Case also said to make deep-frying the Thanksgiving turkey an outdoor activity, keep the fryer away from structures, ensure you are using the proper amounts of oil, and ensure you are not overheating the oil.

Along with deep-frying, grease fires can also occur on the stove, but at a much smaller and more manageable scale.

“If you are cooking on the stove and you did happen to have a flare-up, just put a lid on it,” said Case. “The easiest way that we can get rid of that fire is putting a lid on it and depriving the flame of oxygen.”

Reminding others to stay vigilant to prevent accidents and keep your family and home safe.

“Things happen. Accidents do happen. They do, but the more that we keep an eye on it and try to keep the distractions down,” said Case. “Then we’re going to be safer and our families are going to be safer.”

Case also said every house should invest in a small fire extinguisher in case of a small fire and have it placed in or near the kitchen for quick response times and, if a fire does get out of hand, to call 911 or your local fire department.

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