State Fire Marshal: Skip the deep fat turkey fryer
Nov 19,2007 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

With Thanksgiving approaching, many families are considering how they want to prepare their turkey. To keep their holiday as safe as possible, Oregon State Fire Marshal Nancy Orr is encouraging Oregonians to skip the popular deep fat turkey fryers in favor of more traditional cooking methods.

"Propane powered, deep fat fryers are extremely dangerous," says Orr. "In fact, the Underwriters Laboratories, one of the nation's leading independent testing companies, has not certified any of these fryers because they believe the risk in using them outweighs the benefits."

Common problems with deep fat fryers leading to fires and burns include:
.  The devices can easily tip over, spilling gallons of hot oil
.  If the pot is overfilled, the oil may spill out when the turkey is added, causing oil to ignite a fire
.  Units without a thermostat control can overheat the oil to the point of combustion (most units do not have thermostat controls)
.  If a partially frozen turkey is placed in the hot oil, a spillover effect can occur, causing a fire
.  The sides, lid and pot handles of the unit all get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards

Orr recommends traditional oven baking as the safer method of preparing your Thanksgiving turkey and to follow these cooking safety tips to keep your Thanksgiving a happy one:
.  Keep a close eye on what you're cooking - never leave cooking food unattended
.  Keep your cooking area clean, including stovetop, oven and exhaust fan
.  Keep dishtowels and potholders away from stove burners
.  Cooking oil may ignite quickly. Heat oil slowly and watch it closely
.  Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen within easy reach and know how to use it