Consumers are urged not to use turkey fryers when preparing holiday meals due to the dangers frequently associated with the devices. Tests have shown that the fryers have a high risk of tipping over, overheating, or spilling hot oil, leading to fires, burns, or other injuries.
The cooking method, which has become increasingly popular in recent years, requires placing the turkey in three gallons or more of oil, heated by propane. Some people opt for frying because they believe it delivers better taste and cuts down on cooking time. But frying units have come under scrutiny recently as Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., an independent product safety testing organization, has decided not to certify any turkey fryer.
Some of the concerns about turkey fryers include:
Fire hazards caused by hot oil spilling out of the fryer when the turkey is placed inside
Fire hazards caused by a lack of automatic thermostat controls, so oil may heat until it catches fire
Burn hazards from units that are easy to tip, spilling hot oil on to anyone or anything nearby
Burn hazards from extremely hot sides, lids, and handles on the fryer itself
Consumers should instead use cooking equipment that has been tested and approved by a recognized testing facility.
Consumers should also remember that cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and injuries. These fires are most often caused by unattended cooking.
For more information on deep fat fryer safety, contact the Fire Department at 617-972-6512.