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Firefighters urge turkey fryer safety for Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 4:30 AM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - Deep-frying a turkey can make for a delicious meal, but it can also be a hazard if precautions aren’t followed.

Firefighters said turkey fryers are high on the list for the causes of Thanksgiving fires.

“Partially frozen turkey is a lot like if you would throw water into a grease fire,” Quincy Firefighter Ryan Kamphaus said. “It reacts violently with it. Grease does not react well to water, so when that turkey, partially frozen and not thawed correctly, it’s just got a lot of that extra water moisture in it. And when that hits the hot oil, it reacts,”

Kamphaus urged people to follow the instructions on the turkey before frying the bird. He also says that for an extra precaution, it’s best to fry the turkey outside.

“It’s just important to remember we always want that fryer outdoors,” Kamphaus said. “We don’t want it in our garage, you know, if we can set it out on the driveway, somewhere that’s not inside of a structure while we’re cooking. That way if something does happen it can be contained out and away from the building.”

Kamphaus also suggested long-sleeve shirts and long pants to prevent grease burns. If a fire does occur, he said that if it’s in the pot you can cover it with a lid to let it burn itself out, but if it’s spread, use a fire extinguisher to deal with grease fires. And, of course, call the fire department.

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