News Flash


Posted on: October 30, 2023

MCFD Fire Prevention: Turkey Fryers and Cooking Fires

As fire prevention month concludes, and the holidays approach, Morehead City Fire-EMS reviews the importance of cooking safety, especially when it comes to turkey fryers and kitchen fires. Take two minutes to watch our full turkey fryer and kitchen fire safety video here.

Turkey fryers are a popular option when it comes to cooking a turkey for a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, but they can pose a safety hazard. 

Turkey fryers use large amounts of oil at high temperatures, which can cause devastating burns, and can catch houses on fire. Frozen turkeys will ignite in the hot oil quickly and can cause flames to shoot several feet in the air.

  • If you must use a turkey fryer, make sure that it is placed in a safe location away from your house, carport, garage, shed, stairs, trees or anything else that can catch fire. 
  • Make sure your turkey is well thawed and patted dry from any excess water. Measure your pot first by filling it with water, place your turkey in the pot and use the line indicated inside the pot to make sure your water level does not pass the line. 
  • Remove the turkey and note the water level. This will be your indication of how much oil you will need so you don’t cause any overflow. Remove the water and dry the pot thoroughly. You can now fill it with oil and fry the turkey based on recommended instructions. 
  • Rather than attempting to fry your own turkey, the National Fire Protection Association recommends you consider purchasing an infrared fryer, air fryer or electric turkey fryer that has been approved by a qualified testing laboratory. 

As always, you should never leave cooking food unattended, whether in a turkey fryer outside or in the kitchen. Be sure to check cooking food often, and use timers to keep track of cooking times of various dishes. 

If a stovetop fire starts, slide a lid over the pot or pan to smother the flame. Then, turn off the burner and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool. If a fire starts in the oven, keep the oven door closed and turn the oven off. 

Always take proper steps to keep children out of the kitchen to prevent any incidents with simmering sauces, hot pots and pans, or knives that are being used to cut ingredients. It is recommended that children be kept at least three feet away from all food preparation area. 

If you do a have a fire, call 9-1-1 immediately and evacuate everyone from the house. Morehead City Fire-EMS will respond quickly to assist you in your time of need. 

You can watch the other videos in our October Fire Prevention Series here: 

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