How NOT to deep fry a turkey, with Fire Chief Brian Enterline

All right, so we’re here today at Harrisburg
Borough Fire Station One working with PennLive to show you what happens when you
do not use a turkey fryer right. With the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday you know
we’re gonna see some cold weather and we want to show you the dangers of these so
that everybody’s safe if you are happening to be frying a turkey this coming
Thursday for Thanksgiving dinner. One of the things and I think that the biggest
thing that we have to emphasize is these devices are not made not made to be used
inside so whether it’s your garage –that’s still inside your house–or inside
your house in the basement or something like that we do not–you cannot use these
inside your house. Number one carbon monoxide issue is a number two and probably most importantly the potential fire issue that you do have. So
we ask that when you’re using these, you stay outside your house, away from your
vinyl siding and things in your house. So keep it out in the yard a little bit, and
have a fire extinguisher nearby in case you do have an accident. You know, we do
know that accidents happen. We can’t prevent every accident from happening,
but with some of the safety tips we’re giving you today we hope that we’ll be
able to keep you safe as you cook Thanksgiving dinner for you and your
family. The other thing we’re
going to see this here in a little bit is the firefighters put a frozen turkey in. It is imperative that you read the
directions and that you use a well-thawed well-drained turkey before you put it in
the boiling water [oil]. When you put the frozen turkey into the water [oil], the frozen turkey has to thaw out. It thaws out immediately in that hot oil. And as it thaws out, because of the heat in the oil being about 350 degrees, that water, that moisture in that turkey
immediately turns to steam. If you look at a gallon of water, if we convert that
all to steam at one time its 1,700 gallons of steam given off by that one
gallon of water. Now some of it’s lost –science and all that stuff–but it’s
about 1700 times the volume. So when we look at that it’s going to put a huge
plume up into the air. So that’s why we want to make sure that turkey’s dry
and well-drained and thawed. A couple of the other things we want to
watch: most of the new ones have a timer on ’em, so you’re gonna have to continuously
reset that timer, and that’s to make sure that you didn’t walk away from it. So you
may have to turn that timer back on a couple of times as you’re cooking that
turkey over the 30-40 minutes that it takes to cook. But, you know, that encourages
you to stay by the fryer as you’re frying, as opposed to going in,
maybe laying down on a couch or talking with family and things like that,
and outside this thing’s boiling over and you have a significant fire burning
outside. You know, if you’ve had one
of these in your home for a while, you want to make sure that the propane lines and everything are in good shape, that they’re not dry rotted, because we obviously don’t want to propane leak.
Make sure that all your valves and everything are tight. And, you know,
make sure that you have a propane tank that you know is full before you start.
We don’t wanna have to come back and try and restart later because that that
affects the oil and how that all reacts as it’s heated up. So you want to make
sure that you have that stuff all ready to go and you want to do that prior to
Thursday, because getting propane and things like that on Thursday is probably
gonna be a little difficult, so you want to look at that maybe tonight or tomorrow
so you have all your stuff in place. Again, those hoses are an
important thing to look at. We see a lot of grill fires throughout the year where
the hoses either have spiders in them or they’re dry rotted and they
flake apart and then you have a propane leak, and obviously firing propane now
we have a bigger issue to deal with again. So I think with these couple of
safety tips: making sure that turkey is thawed out and dry before you put it in; make sure you’re using oven mitts; and in the devices that are given to dunk that
turkey in, when you put it in. I think you’ll have a great Thanksgiving and a
well-cooked turkey.

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