FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Division Also Reminds Residents of Safety Recall of Certain Fire Extinguishers

TRENTON – In advance of Thanksgiving and the holiday season, the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety, joined by fire departments and fire officials statewide, is issuing an annual reminder to use extreme caution when using turkey fryers.

Propane-fired turkey fryers allow for the quick deep frying of large turkeys or wild fowl by immersing them in a hot cooking oil reservoir, which can have fatal results.

“The mere act of plunging a frozen turkey into the hot oil container can cause the oil to splash, which can be ignited by the propane-fired burner below the reservoir, which can ignite the propane canister itself, causing fire and explosion,” cautioned Louis Kilmer, Acting Division of Fire Safety Director and State Fire Marshal.

“At the very least, severe burns are possible,” he added. 

Kilmer recommended the following tips for consumers who are planning to use a turkey fryer or actively shopping for one: 

  • Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors – a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.
  • Never use turkey fryers under an overhang, in a garage, or on a wooden deck.
  • Many units are manufactured as tripods. Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce the likelihood of accidental tipping.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended, as most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  • Never let children or pets near the fryer, even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.
  • To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
  • The lid and the handles can become dangerously hot, posing a severe burn hazard. Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix. Water can cause oil to spill over, resulting in a fire or even an explosion hazard.
  • The National Turkey Federation (NTF) recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.
  • Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help. 

The Division of Fire Safety is also alerting residents that Kidde, in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, has announced a recall on certain Kidde fire extinguishers. The recall involves two styles of Kidde fire extinguishers: plastic handle fire extinguishers and push button Pindicator fire extinguishers. A replacement program has been initiated because certain fire extinguishers can become clogged or require excessive force to activate, posing a risk of failure to discharge. In addition, the nozzle can detach with enough force to pose an impact hazard. Residents can visit for information about the recalled models. 

The Division of Fire Safety serves as the central fire service agency in the State. The Division is responsible for the development and enforcement of the State Uniform Fire Code and other community risk reduction strategies, as well as certification and ongoing training for the state career and volunteer firefighter corps.


Tammori Petty
or Lisa Ryan
(609) 292-6055