City of New Orleans, LA

11/24/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/24/2021 09:22

Thanksgiving Fire Safety

November 24, 2021

Turkey Fryer Safety
A longtime food favorite in New Orleans, the delicious deep-fried turkey has quickly grown in popularity thanks to celebrity chefs such as Frank Davis, Emeril Lagasse and Martha Stewart. However, heating up several gallons of oil to 350 degrees on a larger propane burner and then placing a turkey in the hot oil is inherently dangerous. Therefore, if you are going to do this we want you to be safe, so please follow these safety tips when preparing this holiday delicacy.
Here's why using a deep-fryer can be dangerous:
•Many units easily tip over, spilling the hot oil within the cooking pot.
•If the cooking pot is overfilled with oil, the oil will spill over when the turkey isplaced in. When the oil hits the hot burner or flames it will cause a fire that willengulf the entire unit, which can cause catastrophic injury to anyone nearby.
•Partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover effect. This too,will result in an extensive fire.
•With no thermostatic controls, burners have the potential to overheat the oil tothe point of "auto ignition" temperature, which is when the oil willspontaneously ignite without coming in contact with a flame.
•The pot's sides, lid and handles will get dangerously hot, posing severe burnhazards.
If you absolutely must use a turkey fryer, here are some tips to do it safely:
•Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance (minimum of 10feet) away from buildings and any other material that can burn.
•Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks or in garages.
•Always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions for the frying unit.
•Place the fryer on a flat non-combustible surface to reduce accidental tipping.
•Never leave the fryer unattended.
•Do not let anyone walk between the burner and the propane tank as the hoseposes a tripping hazard that can cause the pot of oil to tip over.
•Always use a thermometer and do not let the temperature of the oil exceed350 degrees.
oMost units do not have thermostatic controls. Carefully watch thetemperature or the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
•Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use.
oEven after use, never allow children or pets near the turkey fryer. The oilcan remain dangerously hot for many hours after use.
•To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer. Do not use too large of a turkeyto avoid spillover.
oIf you do not know how much oil to use, you can determine this by;placing the turkey in the empty pot and adding water until it just coversthe turkey by about ½". Then remove and dry the turkey. Measure theamount of water left in the pot. Pour the water out and dry the inside ofthe pot. Use an equivalent amount of oil to fry your turkey.
oAs stated earlier, always follow the manufacturer's recommendation.For most frying units about a 15 lb turkey is the largest size.
•Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles.
•Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from splattering oil.
•Always make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dried.
oBe sure to double check the inside of the turkey for hidden ice and becareful with liquid marinades. Oil and water don't mix.
oWater or ice will cause oil to boil over and a fire or even an explosionhazard.
•The National Turkey Federation recommends refrigerator thawing and to allowapproximately 24 hours for every five pounds of bird thawed in the refrigerator.
•Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish agrease fire.
•In the event of an emergency immediately call 9-1-1 for help.
General Cooking Safety
We would like to remind our citizens to be safe with all your holiday cooking:
•Don't leave pots unattended
•Keep oven mitts and towels a safe distance away from open flames
•Have pan lids available to smother grease fires
•Always have a fire extinguisher available in your kitchen
•In the case of a fire call the fire department first, even if you make an attemptto put the fire out on your own
•Make sure all smoke detectors in the home are working
For more information on Thanksgiving and general cooking safety please visit the New Orleans Fire Department website at The NOFD would also like to also remind residents about our "Free Smoke Alarm Installation Program;" Please call 504-658-4714 or request your smoke alarm online at On behalf of the entire New Orleans Fire Department we would like to wish everyone a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.