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Safety first when deep frying a turkey, says Wausau fire department

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Wausau Fire Department building on Grand Avenue. Image taken 6/13/2011.
Wausau Fire Department building on Grand Avenue. Image taken 6/13/2011.

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- If you're planning on deep frying your turkey for Thanksgiving, make sure you keep it safe.

Safety first is the message from the Wausau fire department. Lieutenant Al Antolik says you should never use a open flamed deep fryer indoors. "I would set it up, somewhere on a hard surface, a level surface, at least 15 to 20 feet from your house." As long as the burner is on and the oil is hot, you should have someone outside watching the turkey and have a fire extinguisher handy.

You should also make sure not to overfill your pot. Antolik says following the instructions on the burner is key. "The oil as it gets hot, it starts to rise up as it boils. It will boil over, and we have had fires in past with the oil boiling over and landing on the burner. And that can usually end up as a fairly large fire." Worse, a grease fire could also catch your LP tank on fire which can cause even more problems.

Make sure your turkey is completely thawed and patted down before you put it in the fryer. Antolik says excess water in your bird can cause a boil over which can lead to a major fire.

As you get your deep fryer and LP tank out of storage, Antolik says you should give it all a once over. Make sure the burner can be controlled easily, make sure it's not rusty and that the hose has no leaks, and make sure that you're getting a good clean flame before you start heating up the oil.

As always, if you do have an accident, call 911.

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