HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — If deep frying a Thanksgiving turkey gets your juices flowing, experts say it’s important to get a leg up on the risks associated with dunking your bird in a pot of boiling oil.

According to National Fire Protection Association statistics from 2022, an average of five people die each year across the U.S. from injuries related to deep fryers. Another 60 are hurt, and property damage from the fires is more than $15 million.

On the Grand Strand, the Surfside Beach Fire Department on Monday posted a Facebook Live video demonstrating how to safely cook your turkey.

“If you’re using this, due to the huge amounts of grease, this can be a very, very unsafe and hazardous thing to do,” a department spokesman said in the video. Following are some of the department’s safety advice:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines
  • Place the fryer 30 feet from any combustibles
  • Don’t overfill oil
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby
  • Keep children away from the fryer
  • Make sure your turkey is dry and thawed
  • Lower it slowly into the fryer to avoid displacing the oil and starting a fire
  • If there is a fire, put a lid on the pot to extinguish the fire inside

The National Fire Protection Association also offers the following safety tips for cooking your holiday meal in a conventional setting:

  • Never leave the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. Some types of cooking, especially those that involve frying or sautéing with oil, need continuous attention.
  • When cooking a turkey, remain at home and check it regularly.
  • Make use of timers to keep track of cooking times, particularly for foods that require longer cook times.
  • Keep things that can catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels at least three feet away from the cooking area.
  •  Avoid long sleeves and hanging fabrics that can come in contact with a heat source.
  • Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Only open the door once you’re confident the fire is completely out, standing to the side as you do. If you have any doubts or concerns, contact the fire department for assistance.
  • Keep children at least three feet away from the stove. Kids should also stay away from hot foods and liquids, as steam or splash from these items could cause severe burns.

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Dennis Bright is a Digital Producer at News13. He joined the team in May 2021. Dennis is a West Virginia native and a graduate of Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Follow Dennis on, Facebook, X, formerly Twitter, and read more of his work here.