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Don't be a birdbrain when frying turkey
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As that time of year for delicious turkey rolls around once again, Rockdale County Fire Rescue would like to remind everyone the importance of following a few safety rules if you decide to deep fry your Thanksgiving turkey. Each year, many people are injured and many properties are damaged due to improper use of turkey fryers.  

Just taking a few minutes to read over, and then following the guidelines below, could mean the difference between great times and great food, or tragedy.  

“No one wants their holiday season to involve tragedy, so I ask that everyone just slow down and take the necessary precautions when cooking their turkeys this year,” said Lt. Chris Kozikowski, Fire Safety Educator for Rockdale County Fire Rescue. “According to State Farm claims data, there are approximately 1000 fires reported on Thanksgiving Day alone each year from turkey fryers nationwide,” said Kozikowski.  These fires resulted in roughly $15 million in damages, according to the National Fire Protection Association. 

RCFR recommends citizens who choose to fry turkeys follow the following safety guidelines: 

-Keep fryer in full view while burner is on.

-Place fryer in an open area AWAY from all walls, fences, or other structures.

-Never use IN, ON, or UNDER a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or any structure that can catch fire.

-Raise and lower food SLOWLY to reduce splatter and avoid burns.

-COVER your skin when adding or removing food.

-Check the oil temperature frequently.

-If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn gas supply OFF.

-If a fire occurs, immediately call 911. DO NOT attempt to extinguish fire with water.


For safest operation, RCFR recommends that citizens follow these guidelines as they prepare to use a turkey fryer: 

-Make sure there is at least 2 feet of space between the liquid propane tank and fryer burner.

-Center the pot over the burner on the cooker.

-Completely thaw (USDA says 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds) in the refrigerator and dry turkey before cooking. Partially frozen and/or wet turkeys can produce excessive hot oil splatter when added to the oil.

-Follow the manufacturer's instructions to determine the proper amount of oil to add. If those are not available: 

-Turn off flame just prior to dropping the turkey into the oil.  Just in case all other safety measures do not work, there will be no flare up if there happens to be a boil over.  As soon as the turkey is dropped into the oil, it is safe to relight the burner.  The oil temperature will not drop enough with the flame off momentarily.

-Place turkey in pot

-Fill with water until the turkey is covered by about 1/2 inch of water

-Remove and dry turkey

-Mark water level. Dump water, dry the pot, and fill with oil to the marked level.