LONGVIEW, Texas — As many of us get ready to set the table and give thanks, firefighters warn about giving your turkey enough time to thaw out, especially if you’re frying it.
"If you’re going to fry a turkey at home, we recommend you put it on some sort of solid surface like a concrete," said Kevin May, Longview Fire Marshal.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, deep-fryer fires cause more than $15 million in property damage each year. To avoid that May recommends frying your turkey in an open area.
"You would never want to do it in your wooden deck or your garage or enclosed space like that," May said.
There are two main reason that many turkey fryer fires happen during the holiday season. One is putting too much oil in the pot the other, not thawing your turkey.
"We have in the past have had several people catch their back patio on fire trying to cook their turkey – a fried turkey," May said.
"When you put the turkey in, it will cause the oil to spill over, and it spills over to the burner, and you have the potential for (a) fire," May said.
Fires like these can cause serious injuries, putting a damper in the holiday festivities.
"You can sustain third degree burns, which would cause you to go to the hospital," May said.
To avoid overflowing your pot with oil, May recommends measuring how much oil you need by putting the turkey in the pot water first.
"This will let you know how much oil you need to put in it. When you pull the turkey out, the water level will drop and that will be where you will need to fill your pot up when you put the oil in it," May said.
Just enough oil to avoid ruining Thanksgiving.
May also recommends placing the fryer at least 15 feet away from anything that can catch on fire.