With Turkey Day fast approaching many will crave the oh-so popular fried turkey to go with their sweet potato casserole and pecan pie. Below are some safety tips to keep in mind while frying your bird.


Thaw the turkey: Frozen turkeys contain water and moisture and since water and oil do not mix the oil will splatter when a frozen turkey is placed into the fryer.  This oil will potentially fall on the burner igniting a fire. To be safe it is suggested that a turkey thaw 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds according to the National Turkey Federation.


Do not overfill the fryer:  Overfilling a fryer will cause the oil to run over and onto the burners.  Oil that runs onto an ignited burner will cause a devastating fire. It has been suggested to first do a test run using only water to find your oil fill level.  Place your turkey in the fryer.  Fill the fryer with water until it covers the turkey.  Remove the turkey from the fryer and mark the water level.  This is the level you will need to fill with oil when you are ready to fry your turkey.


Do not let the oil get too hot:  At 400 degrees oil can spontaneously combust.  It is important to keep a thermometer on hand and consistently check the temperature of the oil.  With most oils the temperature should be kept around 350 degrees.


Keep a fire extinguisher close by:  Even a small amount of oil or grease can cause a large damaging fire.  Using water will only spread this type of fire when trying to put it out.  Having an all-purpose fire extinguisher is recommended when battling an oil or grease fire.


Fry outdoors: Deep frying a turkey indoors is a risk not worth taking.  Move your fryer outdoors away from your home, garage, and even your deck. Find a flat spot away from all flammable items.  This will limit the risk should anything go wrong.


Watch your turkey at all times:  It only takes a minute for something to go wrong so supervise your fryer and keep all kids and pets away.


ServiceMaster South of the James would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.  Enjoy your family and friends and remember to be thankful for all that has been, that is, and that will be.