Just in time for Thanksgiving, a Minnesota fire crew is warning residents about the dangers of frying a turkey (video below).
The Northport Fire Rescue squad teamed up with Publix to create their fourth installment of their "Turkey Frying Gone Wrong" demonstration, Tuscaloosa News reported.
The use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that involve dipping the turkey in hot oil is highly discouraged by the National Fire Protection Association. Instead, the organization recommends people buy fried birds from supermarkets or use oilless fryers, which use infrared heat to cook food.
Northport Fire Rescue Captain Jason Norris said people should follow the manufacturer's guidelines about oil quantity and temperature, as overheating the oil can cause a fire. He said that turkeys should be entirely thawed before frying.
"If ice or water gets in the oil, it becomes volatile and can cause the oil to explode or overflow," Norris explained.
Norris added that frying indoors is never a safe option, and that fryers should always be utilized away from homes and garages. Children and pets should also be kept away from fryers, and cooking should always be on a flat surface.
"Nearly 4,300 fires are reported every year on Thanksgiving," Norris said. "Many are caused by turkey fryers. There's an average of 15 deaths and $27 million of property damage each year."
Cooking fires are not uncommon, especially during the holidays. Texas has led the country as far as the most cooking-related insurance claims on Thanksgiving with 38 in the last seven years, Multivu reported. Illinois is second with 27, while Pennsylvania and Ohio tied for third place with 23.
“Cooking oil — when it’s heated enough — is just as flammable as gasoline,” St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard said in a news release, according to Twin Cities.com.