Commissioner Causey hosts fiery demonstration to show how turkey fryers can lead to flames this Thanksgiving

Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, who is also the State Fire Marshal, is teaming with the Raleigh Fire Department to demonstrate the dangers associated with frying turkeys this holiday season.

Commissioner Causey, along with Office of State Fire Marshal staff and Raleigh firefighters, will host a live fire demonstration to show the dangers of frying a turkey that has not fully thawed.

Raleigh Fire Department will also be hosting a live Christmas tree fire demonstration to reinforce home fire safety efforts during the holiday season. The demonstration will show just how quickly a dry Christmas tree can burn and spread flames throughout a room.

The event will be on Monday, Nov. 21, at 10 a.m., at the Keeter Training Center at 105 Keeter Center Drive, Raleigh, N.C.

“Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to gather with family and friends for a delicious meal, but it’s easy to lose focus on fire safety,” said Commissioner Causey. “Turkey frying can be dangerous because oil fires happen quickly. Make sure to plan for fire safety especially when cooking this holiday season.”

Unattended cooking is the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries in the United States.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving Day is the peak day for fires caused by cooking with approximately 1,000 home fires occurring on this day.

Turkey fryer fires cause an average of five deaths, 60 injuries and more than $15 million in property damage each year.

Outdoor, gas-fueled turkey fryers are discouraged unless used by a properly trained professional. A better alternative is to use newer turkey fryers, which are powered by TRU-Infrared technology, and require no oil.

The Office of State Fire Marshal offers the following safety tips for frying turkeys this Thanksgiving:

  • Use extreme caution when cooking with oil. Hot oil can spill or splash onto the flame, igniting a fire. Also, oil inside a turkey cooker pot can stay dangerously hot for hours after use.
  • Don’t overheat the oil. Cooking oil, if heated beyond its cooking temperature (375 degrees), can ignite.
  • Turkey fryers should not be used under a garage, deck, breezeway, porch, barn or any structure that can catch fire.
  • Make sure the turkey has thawed completely before putting it in a turkey fryer. Frozen, or partially frozen turkeys, will cause hot oil to splatter or produce hot steam, which leads to burns.
  • NEVER use water to extinguish a grease fire!

Here are the details for Monday’s event:

Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey, Safe Kids North Carolina, Office of State Fire Marshal and Raleigh Fire Department.
Turkey Frying Demonstration
NCDOI, Office of State Fire Marshal, with the assistance of the Raleigh Fire Department will lower a half-frozen turkey into oil heated to 375 degrees to show the dangers.
Monday, November 21, 2022, at 10 a.m.
Keeter Training Center, 105 Keeter Center Drive, Raleigh, N.C. 27603
Commissioner Causey and the Office of State Fire Marshal will hold a demonstration to show just how quickly a fire can start when using a turkey fryer.

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.