How to avoid burning down the house or garage when frying Thanksgiving Day turkeys

Our local State Farm dude sent us these handy tips for frying a turkey: It’s hard to beat the speed of deep-frying a turkey-or the irresistible flavor and juiciness that result.

State Farm reports that turkey fryers have the potential to cause fire and serious injury, which is why organizations like Underwriters Laboratories and the National Fire Protection Association advise against using them.

If you plan to deep-fry your holiday bird, be sure you know how to safely use the fryer, and take these precautions compiled by State Farm to protect yourself, your guests and your home:

  1. Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
  2. Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups.
  3. Watch the weather. Never operate a fryer outdoors in the rain or snow.
  4. Place the fryer on a level surface, and avoid moving it once it’s in use.
  5. Leave 2 feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane-powered fryer.
  6. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.
  7. Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that’s 8 to 10 pounds is best; pass on turkeys over 12 pounds.
  8. Never leave fryers unattended.
  9. Purchase a fryer with temperature controls, and watch the oil temperature carefully. Cooking oil that is heated beyond its smoke point can catch fire. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off.
  10. Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.
  11. Wear goggles to shield your eyes, use oven mitts to protect your hands and arms and keep a grease-rated fire extinguisher close by.
  12. Skip the stuffing when frying turkey, and avoid water-based marinades.
  13. Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
  14. Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner, place it on a level surface and cover to let the oil cool overnight before disposing.
  15. Opt for an oil-less fryer. This uses infrared heat, rather than oil, to cook the turkey.

State Farm® and actor William Shatner want you to be safe when using turkey fryers this Thanksgiving. Watch our cautionary tale, ‘Eat, Fry, Love’, before you begin.

New fire chief in McKinney

McKinney City Manager Jason Gray has hired Daniel Kistner as McKinney Fire Chief. Kistner, who replaces Chief Mark Wallace, starts July 5.

Kistner served as the Fire Chief in Lufkin, Texas, for nearly two years and served the City of Garland in a variety of roles for 26 years, including as the Assistant Fire Chief.

“Our entire city management team is excited to welcome Chief Kistner to the McKinney team,” said Deputy City Manager Rick Chaffin. “He has shown incredible passion and experience for the position, and we are confident he will lead the department to new heights as it serves our growing community.”

Kistner earned a Master’s degree in Fire and Emergency Management Administration from Oklahoma State University and is working on a doctorate in Fire Service Administration. Kistner is a graduate of the Texas Fire Chief’s Academy and a Chief Fire Officer designee.

Kistner was also one of six national candidates selected to receive fellowships to attend Harvard University’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program this summer at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The 19-day program, which includes State and local government leaders from across the U.S. and other countries, focuses on exploring the interrelationships between citizens and government, analyzing policy options, and examining the ethical and professional responsibilities of leadership.

Kistner takes over the post from McKinney Fire Chief Mark Wallace, who announced his retirement effective June 1. Wallace had been McKinney’s Fire Chief for the last 10 years of his 41-year career.

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