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What are the Perils of Turkey-Frying this Thanksgiving? This Video Will Show You

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The Department of Homeland Security took to Twitter, issuing an obligatory warning on the perils of holiday turkey-frying. Below is Underwriters Laboratories' informational video, demonstrating the types of potentially deadly mishaps that can occur when overfilling the often flimsy frying-cauldrons with cooking oil.

In a less than festive tone, UL lays out the many precautions it advises Americans take before frying up their birds:

  • Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors, located a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.
  • Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks or in garages.
  • Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you don’t watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  • Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use. After use, continue to exercise extreme caution as the oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot for hours.
  • To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water don’t mix and water can cause oil to spill over, starting a fire or even an explosion hazard.
  • The National Turkey Federation recommends refrigerator thawing and to allow approximately 24 hours for every five pounds of bird thawed in the refrigerator.
  • Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. Remember to use your best judgment when attempting to fight a fire. If the fire is manageable, use an all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call 9-1-1 for help.

While it is true that many a disastrous frying incident has spoiled numerous Thanksgivings over the years, it seems somewhat of a shame that UL fails to mention the joys of a delicious, properly deep-fried turkey:

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