Be Careful If You Are Using a Turkey Fryer This Thanksgiving

December 31, 1969

While frying your turkey can make for a deliciously crisp bird, you may be placing yourself at serious risk of injury. Granted, using a propane turkey fryer is a quicker alternative to using an oven, but the safety risk may not be worth the time payoff.

Not only has the National Fire Protection Association recommended that people refrain from using this type of cooking device--it doesn't believe that turkey fryers are safe for use--but also the Consumer Products Safety Commission is reporting that it has received dozens of reports of people getting burned and fires erupting. Do not hesitate to contact our Anaheim personal injury law firm if you or someone you love was hurt because of a turkey fryer in Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, or Riverside County.

Common scenarios where injuries involving a turkey fryer might arise:
• When the turkey is placed in a fryer while still partially frozen
• Hot oil spills or splashes--especially when the bird is removed or inserted into the fryer
• Opting to use a propane-fryer turkey inside rather than outdoors
• The oil gets ignited after hitting high temperatures or coming into contact with the open flames underneath the fryer
• A slip and fall incident occurs while attempting to move the fryer, which can cause the person to make contact with the oil

Most of the incidents reported to the CPSC took place while the oil was being heated and before the turkey was even insider the fryer. Ways to avoid injuries:

• Keep your eye on the fryer while it is in use at all times
• Place the fryer in an area that is open and a safe distance away from walls, fences, or other structures that could catch fire and burn
• Don't use a fryer indoors, including in a garage or on a porch
• Ensure that your skin is protected
• Slowly put the food in and out of the fryer
• Make sure that you are monitoring the oil temperature
• If you see smoke, turn the gas off ASAP

Consumer Group Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has studied propane fryers and found that their inadequate/lack of temperature control makes them hard to control. Considering that using a turkey fryer exactly as intended still places people at serious risk of injury raises questions as to how safe this product is and whether manufacturers are doing everything to protect consumers from personal injury, especially burn injuries. For example, Consumer Report says that there are electric turkey fryers that are much safer to use than the fryers using propane. Not only do they have automatic temperature controls that will turn the heat off before the oil becomes too hot, but also, less oil is required to operate them.

Over the years, defective product lawsuits have been filed against the makers of turkey fryers for catastrophic burn injuries and property damage.

Contact our Anaheim products liability law firm to request your free case evaluation.

CPSC Issues Safety Tips for Turkey Fryers, CPSC, November 26, 2003

Turkey Fryers, NFPA


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