Have you thought about how you are going to cook your Thanksgiving turkey this year? While most of us prefer the traditional butter basted roasted turkey, fried turkeys have become increasingly popular over the last decade especially in the south. If you are thinking about changing up your turkey tradition and considering frying your turkey this year, here are a few safety tips to help keep you and your home safe from turkey fryer fires.

Location–Before setting up your fryer, make sure you find a secure location for cooking. Propane-fired turkey fryers must be used outdoors. Do not use them in garages or enclosed porches as flare ups can cause fire damage to your home.

Turkey–The turkey must be completely thawed before placing them in the fryer. Frozen or partially frozen turkeys will cause the hot oil to spatter which can cause serious burns or possibly fire to the surrounding areas. Also, some sites and manufacturers recommend using smaller turkeys for frying as they are easier to handle when placing or removing from the fryers.

Weather–Be sure to keep an eye on the weather. Do not plan to use a deep fryer if rain or snow is in the forecast. Water that hits hot cooking oil causing the oil to splatter or turn to steam which can lead to serious burns.

Cooking–Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to not overfill the pot with oil. Wear protective eye wear and gloves to protect your eyes and skin. Do not overheat the oil. If the oil is smoking, turn off the fryer as the oil can catch fire. Turn off the heat before placing the turkey in the fryer.

Children and pets–Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times. Do not leave the fryer unattended.

Oil disposal–Once the turkey has been removed from the fryer, remove the pot from the burner and place it on level ground and cover. It is best to let the oil cool overnight before disposing.

Fried turkeys are moist and delicious, so when frying yours the year, please be safe. It might be good to look into oil-less fryers which use infrared heat instead of oil to fry the turkey. This is the method my family uses and have not been disappointed.

Visit www.nfpa.org/education or learningcenter.statefarm.com/safety-2/15-turkey-fryer-safety-tips/ for these and more turkey fryer safety tips.