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Don't Burn Down Your House This Thanksgiving

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Are you planning on getting creative with your Thanksgiving turkey this year? The US Consumer Product Safety Commission wants to make sure you don’t burn down your house. The agency just released a new safety video showing what happens when you improperly fry a turkey.

“We estimate that there’s about 1,400 cooking fires [in the United States] each year on Thanksgiving,” said Elliot Kaye, chairman of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. “That’s more than three times the average of any other day during the year.”

Since 2004, there have been at least 107 fires in American homes from people trying to deep fry a turkey. The resulting fires have caused at least 57 injuries and more than $5.7 million in property damage.


Tips from the USCPSC for those who insist on frying their turkey:

  • Use turkey fryers outside only and away from your home.
  • Never use a turkey fryer in a garage or on a porch.
  • Completely thaw and dry turkey before cooking
  • Do not overfill the oil in the turkey fryer.
  • If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn gas supply OFF.
  • Never leave the turkey fryer unattended.

As you can see from the video above, one of the biggest problems is when people overfill the oil in the turkey fryer. Once you place the turkey inside the hot oil, it spills over into the flames and creates a massive explosion.


Call me old fashioned, but I’ll take a home that’s not on fire over a deep fried turkey any day. But that’s just me. If you insist on using a turkey fryer just remember that the bird is going to displace oil. So don’t overfill it. Otherwise your home will do most of the frying.