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Deep Frying Your Turkey? Practice Safety to Avoid Potential Accidents, Injuries

Every Thanksgiving, millions of Americans opt to deep fry their turkey, in efforts to soften the meat and give it a more distinctive flavor. However, the combination of flesh, oil, and flame can turn a lovely holiday into a crisis situation in just a few seconds. Oil-related fires and explosions can result in a multitude of expenses, but more importantly, they can also leave you vulnerable to a potential injury claim. Let’s go over some Thanksgiving safety tips that you can follow in order to stay happy and healthy with family and friends:

Staying Safe This Thanksgiving Holiday

Deep frying a turkey is a rather simple process, but it must be done with an abundance of caution. Before you begin cooking, ensure that your deep fryer or pot is large enough to comfortably fit both the bird and the cooking oil, as you never want to encounter an overflow. In addition, you should always keep the fryer outside on a level surface that is at least 10 feet from any flammable surface, in all directions–this includes decks and deck overhangs. Thaw your turkey before you get ready to cook, as the sudden combination of frozen flesh and hot oil can cause a lot of damage, especially in an enclosed cooker. 

Make sure to give yourself ample cooking time, as it typically takes about 3 to 4 minutes per pound of weight to properly fry a turkey at about 350 degrees, which is about the standard temperature. When it comes time to load the bird into the fryer, remember to turn the cooking flame OFF until the turkey is fully submerged, because if any oil overflows and falls into the flame it will likely start a grease fire, which is incredibly dangerous and difficult to extinguish.  Not only that, but if any guests happen to suffer injuries because of a fire or explosion, you could be liable for their damages. 

According to the American Fire Association (AFA), cooking-related fires are nearly three times as likely to take place during the week of Thanksgiving than any other time throughout the year. These incidents include both deep fried turkey mishaps as well as unattended stove top burners and ovens.

Some additional turkey safety tips from the AFA include: 

  • Remove everything inside the turkey before submerging it, including any thermometers or giblets.
  • Use a cotton twine to tie up the bird instead of any synthetic-based fibers, as those can melt and catch fire. 
  • Try to trim away any excess fat, as it can melt and cause the oil to bubble over, which may lead to a burn injury or fire.  
  • Before you add the oil to your fryer, do a “test run” with water first and submerge the bird all the way to gauge how much oil you should or should not use. 
  • Always use a basket or a metal hook to lower the bird into the fryer–never use your hands.
  • Turn off the flame once more before removing the turkey from the fryer.
  • Always have a functioning fire extinguisher on hand, and always have at least one person watching the fryer at all times.

Don’t Let an Accident Ruin Your Thanksgiving–Contact VLF Today 

If you suffer injuries in an accident this Thanksgiving, don’t let the negligence of others ruin your holiday cheer. Instead, call the experienced team of personal injury attorneys from Van Law Firm–we have the expertise and resources to handle any claim that may arise from a deep fry-related mishap, including burn injury and premises liability claims. Contact our office nearest for more information on how to defend your rights.