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Thanksgiving is top day for kitchen fires

The holidays are the time of year that families and friends gather in the kitchen to celebrate. It is also a season to remain vigilant about the dangers of cooking fires.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking is the leading cause of home fires. One out of three home fires begins in the kitchen – more than any other place in the home. Thanksgiving Day is the peak day for home cooking fires 

A new State Farm report reveals that in 2018, State Farm Insurance paid more than $118 million for nearly 2,500 cooking/grease fire homeowner’s claims across the U.S. 

The Top 5 states for cooking/grease fire losses in 2018 were:

1) Georgia

2) California

3) New York

4) Illinois

5) Pennsylvania

Tennessee was ranked #14 with over $3.9 million paid in 107 claims. Average paid Tennessee cooking fire claim in 2018 was over $36,000. The states with the least fire claims were Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

State Farm wants your family to be careful and enjoy Thanksgiving Day. Here are some cooking tips to keep you and your family safe.

• Always keep an eye on what you are cooking/frying. Never leave the cooking area unattended.

• Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

• Keep a lid beside the pan when cooking. If a fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Never throw water on a grease fire.

• Keep a fire extinguisher approved for cooking or grease fires nearby. Make sure your smoke alarms are working

Turkey Frying Safety Tips:

• Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.

• Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups.

• Place the fryer on a level surface, and avoid moving it once it’s in use.

• Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.

• Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that’s 8 to 10 pounds is best; pass on turkeys over 12 pounds.

If you have a cooking fire

• Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.

• Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.

• If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.

• Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

• For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.