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Firefighters demo dangers of turkey frying

Setting up the turkey fryer. RECORD PHOTOS/GREGG L. PARKER
Setting up the turkey fryer. RECORD PHOTOS/GREGG L. PARKER
A uniformed firefigther drops the turkey in boiling oil in the fryer. RECORD PHOTOS/GREGG L. PARKER
A uniformed firefigther drops the turkey in boiling oil in the fryer. RECORD PHOTOS/GREGG L. PARKER
The frozen turkey erupts the oil into flames. RECORD PHOTOS/GREGG L. PARKER
The frozen turkey erupts the oil into flames. RECORD PHOTOS/GREGG L. PARKER
MADISON – Think twice before trying to fry a turkey for any celebration during the holiday season, according to Madison Fire and Rescue Department.
Madison firefighters vividly demonstrated the dangers involved with deep-frying a turkey in a public demo on Nov. 14.
“As the holiday season approaches quickly, Madison Fire wants to alert the public of the dangers of turkey fryers,” Emergency Operations Logistics Officer David Glassman said.
Firefighters set up the deep fryer, fueled by propane, in front of Fire Station No. 1 at 101 Mill Road. The firefighters started the device and then tested the oil, which read 430 degrees. They waited until the oil reached 450 degrees and dropped the turkey into the ‘boiling oil.’
As the turkey dropped into the fryer, oil splattered in different directions. In a few seconds, flames violently flared into the air from the fryer.
Individuals should consider setup, fueling and actually cooking when using a deep fryer, according to the fire department (www.madisonal.gov). A charcoal grill is designed for outdoor use only. Never use a grill in an enclosed area because of carbon monoxide accumulation.
A grill should be set up 10 feet minimum away from buildings, overhead surfaces that can combust, wooden decks and dry leaves or other vegetation.
Confirm that the grill is on a flat surface. North Alabama’s severe drought makes these precautions extremely important.
Madison Fire Department recommends the use of one-pound propane cylinders as the fuel source with the least hazards. Be sure that all connections are tight before turning on the gas.
Always, a turkey must be completely thawed, or the partially frozen turkey in hot oil can cause an explosion. Do not allow children to play around a fryer; the boiling oil will cause serious burns. Also, never leave a grill or cooker unattended.
“We at Madison Fire want to alert the citizens of the dangers of using these fryers when they are not used properly and safely,” Glassman said.
For more information, call Glassman at 256-759-7306 or email david.glassman@madisonal.gov.

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