It's that time of year again — when Boise Fire Department urges Treasure Valley residents to use caution when deep-frying turkeys, which can start dangerous oil fires.
According to a BFD video on deep-fryer safety tips, many turkey fryers are prone to tipping over, can easily be overfilled with oil or spill, and have no means of controlling oil temperatures. All of these hazards can lead to fires, BFD said.
The department advised people to avoid deep-frying but offered safety tips for those who will choose to do so:
▪ Make sure your frying site is flat, on a non-combustible surface and a safe distance from structures. That means your wooden deck, for example, would be a terrible deep-frying location.
▪ Keep oil between 325 and 350 degrees to keep it from igniting. If you do see smoke coming from your deep fryer, BFD recommends turning the unit's gas supply off and stepping away from it.
▪ Thaw your turkey completely before putting it into a deep fryer. A frozen turkey can cause oil to spill over or even be an explosion hazard, BFD said. Be careful with marinades, as well. Oil and water don't mix.
▪ Be sure to have an adult watching the fryer at all times, and with the proper safety equipment. (BFD recommends safety goggles and insulated oven mitts.) Keep children and pets far from the equipment even after dinner is over -- oil in a deep fryer can stay hot for some time.
If a fire does ignite, don't use water to put it out, BFD said. Remove oxygen from the blaze by putting a lid on the deep fryer, and be sure to keep a fire extinguisher close at hand and call 911 if the fire is not manageable.