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Texas Leads In Turkey Fryer Related Fires

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - According to a report released by State Farm, Texas leads the nation in grease and cooking-related fires on Thanksgiving Day over the past five years.

As the popularity of turkey frying has grown, so has the risk of fryer related fires and injuries. The National Fire Protection Association reports that fryer related accidents lead to more than $15 million in property damage each year nationwide.

Additionally, U.S. fire departments are responding to over 1,000 deep fryer related fires each year.

State Farm believes that most turkey fryer fires are preventable if the correct precautions are taken. Here are a few tips offered by State Farm to prevent a holiday accident from occurring.

  1. Do not cook using a fryer in a garage or on a patio. Cook outdoors at a safe distance from any trees, buildings, or wooden structures.
  2. Determine how much oil is required by first filling the pot with cold water and lowering the thawed turkey into the pot. This can help prevent dangerous hot oil spills.
  3. Fully thaw the turkey before adding to the cooker.
  4. Turn off the burner when inserting the turkey into the pot. This will prevent a dangerous flare-up should the oil overflow.
  5. Do not leave the fryer unattended.
  6. Never use water or ice to cool the oil or extinguish an oil fire.
  7. Keep an approved extinguisher on hand should a fire break out.

Last year, State Farm teamed up with William Shatner, who was injured in a turkey fryer mishap of his own, to raise awareness of the growing problem. The company believes the video, along with their safety campaign, reduced Thanksgiving Day fryer related fires by 50 percent in 2011.

Illinois, New York, Ohio and Florida round out the top five.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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