Turkey fryers increase risk of holiday fires

A local house fire over the weekend that was started from the hot oil of a turkey fryer has prompted the Chelan County fire marshal to remind residents that using the outdoor fryers this Thanksgiving can increase the risk of starting a fire.

“Every year around this time, we seem to see at least one incident of these fryers causing a home fire,” Fire Marshal Bob Plumb said. “Some holidays, it’s multiple incidents.”

Outdoor, gas-fueled turkey fryers heat gallons of cooking oil to very high temperatures. The risk of this oil being spilled is significant, and the injuries resulting can be severe.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) also cautions the residential use of outdoor, gas-fueled turkey fryers because they pose such an enormous risk of injury:

Turkeys that are not completely thawed may cause the oil to splash and overflow hot oil onto the open flame of the burner, which can ignite and cause burns.

The fryers are often bumped or tipped over when the turkey is put in or taken out, presenting a greater risk for the oil to splash or spill. Outdoor fryers that come with a stand pose the greatest risk of tipping.

The oil is heated to such a high temperature for frying that the vapors could ignite, resulting in a fire.

If you use a turkey fryer during rain or snow, the risk of injury is increased. When rain or snow hits the hot oil, the oil can splash or turn to steam, which can cause burns.

Numerous fires have ignited when fryers were moved indoors or into a garage to keep the appliance out of the rain.

Moving the turkey from the fryer to a serving plate presents another chance of contact with hot oil.

Last Updated: 11/22/2021 02:51 PM

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