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Turkey fryer, Thanksgiving safety tips

  • Published
  • By Edwards AFB Fire Prevention Office
Each year during the holidays we look forward to that perfectly cooked turkey waiting on the dinner table like so many magazines and television commercials portray.

Unfortunately, since most of us do not have the cooking talents of Martha Stewart or Emeril, that dream is not always a reality.

That's why so many people are turning to deep frying their turkeys. With a turkey fryer, what used to take several hours with no guarantees now takes only 45 minutes with the assurance of a plump, moist bird every time. Fryer users say the flavor is outstanding with only a third of the normal cooking time. 

But the big question is: Are we willing to trade our safety for time and taste?

Every year, deep fat fryers are responsible for around 1,000 fires, resulting in 5 deaths and 60 injuries. As this trend increases, the statistics are likely to become worse - possibly leading to more loss of life. Because of the risks attributed to turkey fryers, Underwriters Laboratories will not certify any fryer with their trusted UL mark and other safety organizations warn against their use.

The primary reasons for the fires and injuries have been attributed to the following causes:

· Improper use by untrained persons 
· Improperly designed homemade fryers 
· Fryer placed too close to combustibles 
· Fryers used inside houses or garages 
· Overfilling the fryer with oil 
· Placing frozen/wet turkeys into the fryer 
· Plunging the turkey too quickly into the fryer 
· Leaving the fryer unattended

If you still feel that you want to deep-fry your turkey this holiday season, the following safety tips should be strictly adhered to:

· Purchase a factory-built unit, do not use homemade fryers. 
· Make sure you use the fryer outside in a well-ventilated area
· Make sure the fryer is a safe distance from buildings and combustible materials 
· Do not use the fryer on a deck, in the garage, or other combustible surface 
· Ensure that the unit is on a flat, dry surface 
· Never leave the fryer unattended 
· Keep all pets and children away from the fryer before, during, and after use
· Do not overfill the fryer with oil
· Use leather gloves or pot holders when touching the unit or lid
· Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dry before placing it into hot oil
· Place the turkey in the oil slowly; this may take up to a minute depending on size 
· Keep a multipurpose (ABC) fire extinguisher nearby in case of fire 
· Never use water to extinguish a turkey fryer fire; oil and water do not mix
· Even after use, do not allow children or pets near the fryer; it can remain hot for several hours 
· If a fire occurs, clear the area and call 911

If not using a fryer, click here for additional Thanksgiving cooking tips in the kitchen.

The Edwards AFB Fire Department wants everyone to have a safe holiday season. By adhering to the safety tips above or better, by avoiding turkey fryers altogether, we can ensure this goal is achieved.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this article or any other safety tips, feel free to contact us at (661) 277-3643.

Slide show

Turkey fryer, Thanksgiving safety tips

  • Published
  • By Edwards AFB Fire Prevention Office
Each year during the holidays we look forward to that perfectly cooked turkey waiting on the dinner table like so many magazines and television commercials portray.

Unfortunately, since most of us do not have the cooking talents of Martha Stewart or Emeril, that dream is not always a reality.

That's why so many people are turning to deep frying their turkeys. With a turkey fryer, what used to take several hours with no guarantees now takes only 45 minutes with the assurance of a plump, moist bird every time. Fryer users say the flavor is outstanding with only a third of the normal cooking time. 

But the big question is: Are we willing to trade our safety for time and taste?

Every year, deep fat fryers are responsible for around 1,000 fires, resulting in 5 deaths and 60 injuries. As this trend increases, the statistics are likely to become worse - possibly leading to more loss of life. Because of the risks attributed to turkey fryers, Underwriters Laboratories will not certify any fryer with their trusted UL mark and other safety organizations warn against their use.

The primary reasons for the fires and injuries have been attributed to the following causes:

· Improper use by untrained persons 
· Improperly designed homemade fryers 
· Fryer placed too close to combustibles 
· Fryers used inside houses or garages 
· Overfilling the fryer with oil 
· Placing frozen/wet turkeys into the fryer 
· Plunging the turkey too quickly into the fryer 
· Leaving the fryer unattended

If you still feel that you want to deep-fry your turkey this holiday season, the following safety tips should be strictly adhered to:

· Purchase a factory-built unit, do not use homemade fryers. 
· Make sure you use the fryer outside in a well-ventilated area
· Make sure the fryer is a safe distance from buildings and combustible materials 
· Do not use the fryer on a deck, in the garage, or other combustible surface 
· Ensure that the unit is on a flat, dry surface 
· Never leave the fryer unattended 
· Keep all pets and children away from the fryer before, during, and after use
· Do not overfill the fryer with oil
· Use leather gloves or pot holders when touching the unit or lid
· Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dry before placing it into hot oil
· Place the turkey in the oil slowly; this may take up to a minute depending on size 
· Keep a multipurpose (ABC) fire extinguisher nearby in case of fire 
· Never use water to extinguish a turkey fryer fire; oil and water do not mix
· Even after use, do not allow children or pets near the fryer; it can remain hot for several hours 
· If a fire occurs, clear the area and call 911

If not using a fryer, click here for additional Thanksgiving cooking tips in the kitchen.

The Edwards AFB Fire Department wants everyone to have a safe holiday season. By adhering to the safety tips above or better, by avoiding turkey fryers altogether, we can ensure this goal is achieved.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this article or any other safety tips, feel free to contact us at (661) 277-3643.

Edwards provides care, opportunities for children aged six weeks through high school graduation

Edwards provides care, opportunities for childrenaged six weeks through high school graduation

The Child and Youth Program at Edwards AFB provides care and opportunities for kids ages six weeks old through high school graduation. A brief summary of those services follows:

  •                    The Child Development Center cares for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, with a DOD-wide curriculum. The curriculum is focused on learning through play activities supporting social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Installations across DOD follow the curriculum on the same timeline to allow seamless permanent change-of-station transitions for youth enrolled in care.
  •                    The School Age Center provides before and after-school care and summer camp for children ages 5 to 12. During school breaks, full-day camps are offered. SAC promotes cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, language and physical development through programs that encourage self-confidence, curiosity, self-discipline and resiliency.
  •                    The open recreation program at the Main Youth Center provides a safe space for ages 9 to 12 to attend after school. Programs include Power Hour, STEM, Torch Club, social recreation, youth camps, special events and more.
  •                    The youth sports program provides intro and league opportunities for ages 3 to 12, and promotes inclusiveness, self-discipline, commitment, resiliency and social skills. There are four sports offered annually for ages five to 12: baseball/softball, soccer, flag football and basketball. Smart start programs are available to ages 3 to 5. There are many other sports and camps offered throughout the year.
  •                    The Teen Center is available for ages 13 to 18 during the school year. Programs offered include Military Youth of the Year, Keystone Club, social recreation, STEM activities, college trips, leadership camps and more.
  •                    Youth programs (SAC, open rec and teen) are affiliated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and 4-H.
  •                    Family Child Care homes – there are currently three FCC homes on the installation. They can provide care for ages two weeks to 12 years. FCC providers are trained by Child and Youth Program training and curriculum specialists and have the flexibility to determine their hours of operation and the ages of youth within their care. The program’s new dedicated manager, Jennifer Stegmann, may be reached at 661-275-7529.

Although CDC enrollment capacity is 317, not all slots are currently filled because of a shortage of childcare workers. School Age Center enrollment capacity is 156. After-school care enrollment is 130. Before-school care enrollment is 75. Summer Camp 2022 was at its capacity and enrollment for Summer Camp 2023 opens April 3.