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Officials warn of using deep fryers to cook your turkey

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LAWTON, Okla_Millions of Americans are counting down the hours to a day filled with family, football and of course turkey. But fire officials say while most people associate the Thanksgiving Day holiday with a joyous time, it can also be dangerous, even deadly. The National Fire Protection Association said house fires triple across the U.S. every Thanksgiving.

Cooking a turkey or a feast is no small feat, it can take hours while using a hot oven, stove top or worse a deep fryer that, over the years, has grown in popularity. Fire marshals say any of these, if not used properly, can quickly sour your holiday plans. So much so, the NFPA now discourages the use of outdoor turkey fryers.

While many people consider overeating the greatest peril of Thanksgiving, Lawton Assistant Fire Marshal Joe Cintron said as temperatures rise so does the number of cooking fires.

"There are three times more fires than on any holiday of the year."

Cintron said one of the biggest causes of Thanksgiving Day fires is fatigue.

"People will get up early in the morning and start going early, as the day goes on, it's a long day, they'll get tired, careless and forget to turn their stoves and ovens off."

He said another problem is the use of fryers that requires the use of extremely hot oil which can be easily knocked over.

"A grease fire is 365 degrees and can severely burn you up to third degree burns."

He said some don't require oil and is much safer and recommended by fire officials. But he said regardless of what method you choose to cook your turkey, make sure it's a safe one so you can enjoy the best part of the holiday, spending time with your family.

If you're planning on dusting your fryer off, Cintron warns the wind speeds are expected to be high and could cause it to tip. He said while many people will be tempted to drag them into their garages or inside their homes he said reconsider, they are only to be used outdoors and at least ten feet from a structure.

Fire marshals also encourage families to keep a fire extinguisher handy and if you have a grease fire DO NOT use water to put it out. If you can they recommend turning off the heat source or calling 911.

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