Texas tops list for most deep fryer accidents

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A nationwide study shows Texas is the number one state for fryer related fires and injuries.

It could be that Texans just love fried turkey on Thanksgiving or maybe there are a few turkey frying lessons to be learned.

For many families, deep frying a turkey on Thanksgiving is a tradition.

Chef Cedric Fletcher is one East Texan who takes part in the food frying ritual and he says there is a simple reason Texas is at the top of the list for fryer related accidents.

"Because we love to fry everything so and we really want to do it ourselves, we don't want to rely on anyone else to do it," says Fletcher.

Chef Fletcher demonstrated how to properly fry a turkey for us, and there is more to the job than just dropping the bird in some oil.

"The most common mistakes made are not measure the oil correctly, not making sure that the turkey is completely thawed and also people don't make sure they have the proper equipment," Fletcher added.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, deep fryer fires cause more than $15 million dollars in property damage every year, not to mention the serious injuries people can get from hot oil spills.

"Usually what you see is burns that are either from flames that are too high or you see splash burns, " says Doctor Sean Denim, an ER physician at Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler.

Dr. Denim says burn injuries are not to be taken lightly.

"A lot of times people think it's not that big of a deal but it's something that really needs to be looked at by a professional because sometimes these burns can get really bad, they can get infected and sometimes serious burns can scar, " says Dr. Denim.

Illinois comes in second on State Farm's list for the most grease-related accident claims on Thanksgiving.

New York is third on the list, followed by Ohio and Florida.

The NFPA says most fryer fires are preventable and chef Fletcher has one other tip for people frying turkeys.

"Don't drink and fry is what the national fire safety protection board needs to say. Alcohol can impair your judgment and deep frying a turkey is serious and can result in serious injuries," says Fletcher.

Dr. Denim agrees with Fletcher, saying alcohol plays a role in many holiday cooking catastrophes.

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