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Deep Fryer Dangers

Nov 20, 2005 | In some families, it's not Thanksgiving if the turkey is not deep fried.

"We've been deep frying turkeys for about four years," said East El Paso resident, Fernando Loya.

Some people do it because it's convenient. A turkey can be ready in half the time it takes with a conventional oven.

"The reason we deep fry it is because it adds more flavor to the turkey and you can add stuffing to it," said Loya.

The turkey may be tasty but the deep fryer can be dangerous.

"Two of the major reasons are you're dealing with a dangerous appliance and a propane tank. You're dealing with boiling oil and there's a danger of oil splashing," said El Paso Fire Department Lt. Mario Hernandez.

Experts warn if you overfill the pot or put in a turkey that's still partially frozen, the oil can bubble over, catching fire and engulfing the pot in flames.

And that's what happened to a Las Cruces family last year. Fortunately no one was hurt, but their home was in shambles. Fire officials said the oil in the deep fryer caught fire and spread up the porch and into the ceiling.

"A couple of biggest mistakes with turkey fryers, not only locally but national wide, is they put these fryers too close to combustibles," said Hernandez.

And because of this danger and its consequences, some families stay away from deep fried turkeys.

"We've never done it in the past, it can be dangerous if you don't follow the instructions the way your supposed to," said El Paso resident Dolores Garcia.

Fire officials recommend families read all the instructions before getting started.

You should set up in a well ventilated area with a flat stable surface.

Be careful when removing the turkey because that's when there's the most potential of injury or fire.

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