CFD gives Thanksgiving safety advice, demonstrates how quickly things can go wrong when frying a turkey


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Chicago Fire Department staged a dramatic demonstration Friday at the Fire Academy, showing how quickly things can go wrong when deep-frying a turkey.

A firefighter used a pole to set a turkey into a deep-fryer and seconds later it erupted in flames.

They did just about everything wrong, according to Deputy District Fire Chief Walter Schroeder, to show what can happen.

The turkey was frozen. The oil was too full and too hot.

Schroeder said you should be sure a turkey is completely thawed. The oil should never be over 350-degrees and the deep-fryer should only be used outside, away from walls and overhangs.

The flames shot 12-feet in the air during the demonstration.

Schroeder noted that would easily set a home on fire if the fryer were used in a garage or too close to a wall or overhang.

He also said children should be kept far away from fryers and he suggested wrapping the hose to the propane tank in case it boils over. He said the hot oil can burn a hole in the line and create an even more dangerous situation with propane gas feeding the fire.

Illinois State Fire Marshall Matt Perez was on hand for the demonstration. He said there are four times more fires on Thanksgiving than any other day.