Texas has had more house fire fatalities in 2018 than any other state and the Lonestar State ranks 9th for most costly insurance claims, so folks at State Farm and fire officials are hoping you take the proper precautions while cooking up your meal this year.
In 2017, State Farm paid $130 million on 2,700 cooking fire claims with $6 million of those payouts in Texas alone. The threat of a fire is dangerous to people and property. Tracey Denson from State Farm said Thanksgiving is a big day for home fires.
“Thanksgiving happens to be the number one day for kitchen related fires. The average claims about $40,000. So, it’s a big issue,” Denson said.
State Farm officials said one in three home fires start in the kitchen and the most common cause is unattended cooking. Chief Rodney Ryalls from the Burkburnett Volunteer Fire Department said they often see an increase around this time of year.
“We certainly see an increase in different types of fires. Whether it be from a heating situation or a cooking situation,” Ryalls said. Typically as the cold weather sets in, that does have an increase to fires in general throughout the United States.”
For those wanting to fry a Turkey, Denson said there are three key steps needed to ensure a safely cooked bird.
“Make sure that you defrost your turkey completely. A lot of people don’t realize it causes flare-ups when you put a frozen turkey or wet turkey in,” Denson said. Don’t overfill your fryer because you know the turkey takes up a lot of space and the oil overflows and has an open flame there. And make sure your turkey fryer is away from your structures.”
Denson and Chief Ryalls are hoping you will take the precautions and stay safe during this holiday season.
Folks with State Farm list there safety cooking tips for the holiday season:
- Stay Alert: Don’t cook if you’ve consumed alcohol or are sleepy
- Be Attentive: Stay in the kitchen while cooking and limit guest interactions. Make sure you have a safe space and keep kids and pets away.
- Away: Keep items that can catch fire (oven mitts, food packaging, towels) Away from the stovetop.
If there is a fire, evacuate the house; close the door behind you to help contain the fire and make sure to call 911.