Homeland Security Issues 'Turkey Fryer' Warning

Tuesday, 22 Nov 2011 07:07 PM

By Paul Scicchitano

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An apparent new threat to the United States surfaced on the Department of Homeland Security’s official Twitter account this morning just in time for Thanksgiving —turkey fryers.

“Use turkey fryers outdoors at a safe distance f/ buildings,” tweeted DHS. “Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.”

DHS linked another warning tweet to a video of a blazing turkey fire created by safety experts at Underwriters Laboratories.

“Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before placing in a fryer, or this may happen,” the tweet said, encouraging Americans to witness the danger firsthand through the following video:




While posting the turkey fryer threat on the DHS Twitter account caused smiles around the beltway, it’s no joking matter.

“We're worried by the increasing reports of fires related with turkey fryer use," warns John Drengenberg, consumer affairs manager of UL. "Based on our test findings, the fryers used to produce those great-tasting birds are not worth the risks. And, as a result of these tests, UL has decided not to certify any turkey fryers with our trusted UL Mark.”

According to data from the U.S. Fire Administration, an estimated 2,000 fires in residential buildings occur every Thanksgiving, resulting in an estimated average of five deaths, 25 injuries, and $21 million in property loss each year. The leading cause of such fires is cooking, including the use of turkey fryers.

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