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Deep Fried Turkey Could Be Fire Hazard

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A culinary holiday tradition from the Deep South is gaining popularity in California but has officials worried.

Safety organizations say deep-fried turkey, which requires submerging the Thanksgiving main course in hot oil, could pose a fire hazard.

Officials say people who boil their turkey in the backyard, or in the kitchen, could start a blaze by spilling oil onto flames. They encourage taking proper precautions.

Southerners who brought their culinary traditions here say there is no better way to prepare a turkey.

A man from Mississippi says deep frying a turkey results in “crispy skin all over … and the meat doesn´t get dry or


But safety organizations warn the process could pose a fire hazard if cooks don´t follow proper precautions.

A man suffered third-degree burns from his feet to his face in Bakersfield last month while deep frying a turkey in his garage. One Texan permanently scarred his chest and abdomen with flaming grease.

Last year, Sacramento County had several small fires and at least one structure fire as a result of the negligent use of turkey fryers.

To reduce the risk of an accident, officials suggest placing a fryer at least 10 feet from any structure — such as a wooden deck — and keeping it on level ground. It´s important to keep children and pets away from the fryer, even after taking the turkey out.