Those planning to fry a turkey for Thanksgiving should be wary of the potential fire hazards, fire officials say.
The National Fire Protection Association says Thanksgiving is the peak time of year for fryer and cooking fires.
Officials at Underwriters Laboratories say turkey fryers are dangerous to use and pose numerous safety hazards.
Fryers can tip over and spill up to five gallons of hot oil. Oil can also spill out of the unit and hit the burner, causing the entire fryer to ignite. The fryer's sides also can get extremely hot, meaning the potential for severe burns.
Medford Fire-Rescue officials said the fryers should be used outdoors a safe distance away from buildings and other flammable materials. They should not be left unattended, and children should not be let near them. A turkey should be placed in the pot only when it is completely thawed. Estimate approximately 24 hours of thawing time for every five pounds of meat when thawed in the refrigerator.
If a grease fire does start, do not use water to extinguish it. Fire officials said to use a fire extinguisher instead.
A complete list of guidelines is available at www.ci.medford.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=609.