(HealthDay)— Celebration can quickly turn to tragedy if popular turkey fryers are misused on Thanksgiving Day, experts say.
Over the last decade, more than 141 serious fires and hot-oil burns have occurred while people were using turkey fryers, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
"I have actually cared for a patient who tried to deep fry the turkey indoors, which absolutely should not be done in any circumstances," Dr. Arthur Sanford, a burn surgeon at Loyola University Health System, said in a university news release.
"And I cannot stress enough that the turkey must be moisture-free. A frozen turkey in hot oil is a recipe for tragedy," he added.
Sanford offered a number of other safety tips for people using turkey fryers:
- Purchase a newer fryer that has a sealed lid to prevent oil spills.
- Place the fryer in an open area away from all walls, fences or other structures. Never use the fryer in, on or under a garage, carport, porch, deck or any other structure that can catch fire. Keep the fryer in full view while the burner is on and keep children and pets away from the cooking area.
- Do not cook in short sleeves, shorts or bare feet. Cover all bare skin when dunking or removing the turkey. Wear goggles or glasses to protect your eyes.
- Make sure the turkey is fully thawed and dry when placed in the hot oil. Water can cause the oil to spill over, triggering a fire or explosion. Be careful with marinades.
- Don't overfill the fryer with oil. Slowly raise and lower the turkey to reduce hot-oil splatters and to prevent burns. Turn off the fryer immediately if the oil starts to overheat.
- If the turkey fryer catches fire, do not use water to try to douse it. Have a fire extinguisher appropriate for oil fires with you when using a turkey fryer and familiarize yourself with the extinguisher beforehand.
- If you or someone else suffers a burn, get immediate medical aid.
- Don't drink alcohol before or while using a turkey fryer. Wait until dinner to have a drink.
More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers tips for the safe preparation of your holiday meal.
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