Avoid a disaster when deep frying your turkey

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INDIANAPOLIS – Fire officials notice an increase in cooking fires increase in November, around Thanksgiving, because people are not using safe methods.

Many families deep fry their turkey and if you are not careful you could create an unsafe situation.

“Complacency kills. So, every year (when) you get ready to use this equipment you want to check the equipment out to make sure it’s functioning properly. Don’t drag it our of the garage, throw grease in it, and start cooking your turkey,” Captain Michael Pruitt said.

Pruitt is the public information officer for the Wayne Township Fire department. He shared some statistics from the National Fire Protection Association. They reported 5 people were killed, 60 people suffered injuries, and more than 900 homes were damaged in 2011 due to people deep frying their turkey.

“I love deep fried turkey. It’s the best turkey out there, but we also take steps to make sure we do it safely,” Pruitt said.

On Tuesday, the Wayne Township Fire department showed FOX 59 what people should not do when they are deep frying their turkey and what people should do. Pruitt said they want to make sure families follow safe cooking methods.

“If you are a rookie, everyone of those fryers comes with instructions. (People should) follow them to the ‘t’,” Pruitt said.

People should make sure they wear gloves, a long sleeve shirt, and closed shoes, if they are deep frying their turkey. Before you start, follow a couple of steps.

“What we recommend is you put the turkey in, (then) pour water in. (You should) get it a couple (of) inches above the surface of the turkey. Pull the turkey out and then mark it (so that you know) where you need to get your oil level to,” Pruitt said.

Pruitt said your turkey needs to be thawed and dry before you place it into the deep fryer. Do not put more oil into the deep fryer than you need. Cook your turkey outside about 10 feet away from anything flammable.

“There (have) been too (many) multiple cases every year of people using these deep fryers in areas that (they) shouldn’t and it ends up burning the house down or severely injuring (people),” Pruitt said.

If you plan to cook your turkey using traditional methods inside your home, Pruitt said an adult should stay in the kitchen at all times. People also need to make sure their smoke detectors and their fire extinguisher work before they cook their Thanksgiving dinner.

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