Media Release

Press Release: Turkey Frying/Thanksgiving Safety

Friday, November 21, 2008 12:00 AM

9 a.m.

Alachua County Department of Public Safety & Gainesville Fire Rescue

Carol Davis
Public Information Officer
Office: 352-384-3110
Cell: 352-258-9966

The following tips are designed to ensure our citizens have a safe and enjoyable holiday season. 

Turkey Frying Safely

Thanksgiving is a time of celebration and cooking as millions of people across the United States come together to share food and good cheer.  A variation of cooking the traditional Thanksgiving turkey has gained in popularity in recent years.  Deep frying a turkey can be done safely, but there are some safety tips that should be followed.  Post the following deep frying tips near your favorite deep frying turkey recipe.  


  • Oil inside turkey fryers can overheat, splash onto the fryers' open flame and ignite causing house fires and property damage.
  • Fryers overfilled with oil may spill when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot causing severe burns and possibly starting a fire that can swiftly engulf the entire fryer and spread.
  • Turkey fryers should always be used on a flat surface, outdoors and at a safe distance from buildings
  • Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks or in garages.  It can be tempting to fry your turkey on the porch if the weather is inclement, but this is very dangerous and can result in a house fire which could ruin your holiday
  • Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls, so you must watch the fryer carefully to keep an eye on the oil temperature.  Remember that the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire 
  • Generally, it is best to keep the temperature at 350F.  If any smoke at all is noticed coming from a heating pot of oil, the oil is overheated and the burner should be turned off immediately.  According to the National Turkey Federation, cooking oils with high smoke points should be used when frying turkeys.  Peanut oil, which has the highest smoke point (425°F) is highly recommended
  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer when in use. Even after use, bear in mind that the oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot for hours after use.
  • To avoid oil spillover and splashing, do not overfill your fryer and be extremely careful when lowering your turkey into the pot
  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles and wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water don't mix, and water may cause the hot oil to spill over, igniting a fire or even creating an explosion hazard.
  • Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby and know how to use it
  • Never use water to extinguish an oil or grease fire and immediately call 9-1-1 for help if a fire should occur

Some Additional Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Thanksgiving is just a week away and extensive cooking can result in kitchen fires and other dangerous mishaps like burns and scalds. Serving a traditional turkey requires extra attention to safety.  The following tips are meant to lessen the chance of common holiday accidents or injuries occurring in your home. 

  • Start your holiday cooking with a clean stove and oven.
  • Turn pot handles toward the rear of the stove.
  • Don’t wear dangling jewelry or clothing with loose sleeves when cooking. Sleeves can catch on fire and jewelry can snag on pot handles causing spills in addition to severe scalds
  • and burns.
  • Nearly 50% of house fires across the nation start in the kitchen, so never leave your
  • cooking unattended, even for a moment.
  • Have a working fire extinguisher nearby and know how to use it.
  • In the event of a fire or medical emergency, always call 9-1-1.

As Thanksgiving approaches, The Alachua County Department of Public Safety and Gainesville Fire Rescue encourages everyone to have a safe and happy holiday. For more information concerning fire safety or fire prevention, call 352-384-3101.  




  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).