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Nov 15

Don't be a turkey, stay safe this holiday season!

Posted on November 15, 2016 at 9:02 AM by Andrea Mantakounis

Boiling Oil
By Fire Chief Chris Martin

The Sterling Heights Fire Department wishes everyone a very safe and healthy holiday season!  As we approach Thanksgiving, SHFD would like to remind residents about the dangers of frying turkeys.

  • Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area. Hot cooking oil can cause second- and third-degree burns.
  • An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill over when the turkey is put in. Never go above the suggested fill line.
  • A partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot. The frozen water on the bird will be flash-boiled into steam, which expands 1,600-1,700 times the water's original volume. The steam displaces the boiling oil and causes it to spill over the top of the fryer tank onto the flame, which could ignite a grease fire. 
  • Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire.
  • Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire.
  • The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles can get dangerously hot.
  • Never use a turkey fryer indoors such as in your kitchen or garage, or on a deck or within 10 feet of a structure.
  • Keep the fryer away from all combustible material, vegetation and decorations.
  • Never, ever leave a fryer unsupervised. Make sure all children and pets stay away from the area.
Click here to see just how quickly a fryer fire can ignite and the amount of damage it can cause, courtesy of State Farm Insurance and William Shatner.

National Fire Protection Association and SHFD discourage the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that cook the turkey in hot oil. The use of turkey fryers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries and the destruction of property.