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Turkey Fryers Can Increase Fire and Injury Risk During Thanksgiving

The National Fire Protection Association is discouraging people from using turkey fryers when cooking their bird over Thanksgiving. The cooking apparatus has become a favorite alternative to baking. That said, over the years, products liability lawsuits have been filed because people have suffered burn injuries as a result of a turkey fryer.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, since 1998, dozens of incidents involving burns, fires, and flames caused by turkey fryers have been reported. Most injuries occurred while the oil was heating up and before the turkey had been placed in the fryer. Injuries can also occur from splashing, which can happen when partially frozen meat is cooked in the fryer.
Other scenarios that might lead to turkey fryer-related injuries:

  • Any time hot oil from the fryer splashes or spills. This can occur when the turkey is being placed in or taken out of the fryer, in the event that the fryer tips over, or should snow or rain strike exposed, hot cooking oil.
  • Using a propane-fired turkey fryer indoors can create a fire hazard.
  • NFPA doesn’t think that turkey fryers are safe for use even if a consumer is careful and well-informed about how to operate one.

CPSC offers several safety recommendations for using a turkey fryer:

  • Make sure the fryer is always in full view while in operation.
  • Keep the fryer in an open space and away from fences, walls, and other structures.
  • Do not use a turkey fryer in, over, or under a garage, porch, carport, or any structure that can catch fire.
  • Cover your bare skin when removing or adding food.
  • Slowly raise and lower your turkey to minimize oil splatter.
  • Monitor the oil temperature in the fryer to make sure that overheating doesn’t occur.

Turkey Fryers, National Fire Protection Association
CPSC Issues Safety Tips for Turkey Fryers, CPSC
Related Web Resources:
Fire Departments: Do Not Deep-Fry Turkey, CBS4, November 22, 2007
Deep-fried turkey safety and cooking tips, Boston Herald
Burns, MedLine Plus

Our products liability lawyers represent clients that have sustained burn injures from defective or dangerous consumer goods. Contact Gilbert & Ollanik, PC today.

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