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Each year, the Fire Department reminds people to practice safety when using turkey fryers to prepare the big family meal.

"As deep-frying turkeys have become a very popular way to prepare Thanksgiving dinner, people need to understand there are very real dangers associated with this method," says says Jeremy Webb, Fire Safety Education Officer. "However, it is also very easy to remain safe if the right measures are put in place.

Below are a list of tips to help families stay safe, and the Fire Department will hold a live event for the media (in person) and public (via the Fire Department's Facebook page) to demonstrate the safety tips. The demonstration will be held at Fire Station #1 (195 Coliseum Drive) on Wednesday, November 25, at 11:00 a.m.

"Now is a great time to remind not only the communities we serve, but also ourselves, about the inherent dangers of a very popular way we prepare Thanksgiving dinner," says Webb. "In efforts to mitigate the dangers associated with deep frying and keep all of our families safe, here are some helpful tips for anyone who wishes to deep fry their turkey."

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  • Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages at least 10 feet away from your home and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
  • Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups.
  • Watch the weather. Never operate a fryer outdoors in the rain or snow.
  • Place the fryer on a level surface and avoid moving it once it is in use.
  • Leave at least 2 feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane-powered fryer.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.
  • Never leave fryer unattended.
  • Purchase a fryer with temperature controls and watch the oil temperature carefully. Cooking oil that is heated beyond its smoke point can catch fire. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off.
  • Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.
  • Wear goggles to shield your eyes, use oven mitts to protect your hands and arms and keep a grease-rated fire extinguisher close by.
  • Always keep children and pets away from the fryer.
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