10 safety tips to remember when preparing your Thanksgiving meal

"Delicious Fried Turkey" by ekilby, CC BY-SA 2.0

NATIONWIDE, (WOWO) – Did you know Thanksgiving Day is the peak day for home cooking fires?

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking is the leading cause of home fires, and Thanksgiving Day tops the list.

If you’re planning your Thanksgiving meal, State Farm has provided several cooking tips to keep in mind this holiday:

  • Keep a lid beside the pan when cooking. If a fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Also, remember to never throw water on a kitchen fire.
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire away from your stove top. This includes oven mitts, wood utensils, towels, etc.
  • Size matters: choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that’s 8-10 pounds is best. Turkeys more than 12 pounds should not be fried.
  • Make sure your turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes with hot oil can cause flare-ups.
  • Cook outdoors on a flat level surface with a cleared radius of at least 10 feet. Don’t fry turkeys on wooden surfaces such as decks or patios.
  • Be attentive when cooking – never leave the fryer unattended.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy. The extinguisher should be approved for cooking or grease fires.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. 
  • If a fire does happen, make sure to close all doors to contain it. Be sure others get out, and you have a clear way out if you attempt to fight it.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to call 9-1-1 if the fire is uncontrollable. 

In 2017, State Farm paid more than $130 million for nearly 2,700 cooking/grease fire homeowner’s claims.

The top 10 states for cooking/grease fire losses in 2017 were: Georgia, Alabama, New York, Maryland, Illinois, Ohio, California, Pennsylvania, Texas and North Carolina. Indiana ranked 14th.

For more information on cooking fire safety, check out NFPA’s Cooking Fire Resources.

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