Firefighters: Misused turkey fryers pose serious fire risk

VIDEO: Firefighters: Turkey fryers pose serious fire risk

MIDLAND, MI (CBS) - If you're planning on cooking your Thanksgiving turkey with a turkey fryer this year, firefighters say you need to be careful.

Incorrectly cooking a turkey can cause a fire.

A Michigan fire department partnered with the state's fire marshal to show how easily things can get out of control.

"There have been a couple of incidents in Midland County in the past years when deep fryers that are for cooking turkeys have caused structure fires," Midland Fire Chief Chris Coughlin says. "In fact, in both cases, the houses were a total loss."

"Always read the manufacturer's recommendations on the side of the container, and the box," Fire Marshal Rick Miller says.

You should always make sure the fryer is outdoors, not indoors. And make sure the turkey is fully thawed.

"One of the things you do not ever want to do is place a frozen turkey or partially-frozen turkey into the hot oil," Coughlin says.

A frozen turkey can cause the oil to splatter over the sides of the fryer and start a fire.

"Make sure you don't have too much oil in the cooker, because if you do, it'll displace the oil and it'll overflow and you'll have a fire," Coughlin says.

If the worst does happen and fire breaks out, firefighters say you should never try to extinguish a grease fire with water because it could make the fire spread and cause burns.

Instead, you should always have an appropriate fire extinguisher nearby.

Following these steps should help you avoid a Thanksgiving day disaster.

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