Thanksgiving the peak day for home cooking fires

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, November 21, 2018

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.

The number one cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. The NFPA data shows that Thanksgiving Day is the peak day for home cooking fires.

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 includes North Carolina. At number 10, North Carolina saw 138 claims in 2017 with over $5.7 million in paid losses.

Here are some cooking tips to keep you and your family safe.

  • 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 kitchen fire.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, towels, etc., away from your stovetop.
  • Size matters: Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that’s 8 to 10 pounds is best; pass on turkeys over 12 pounds.
  • Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups.
  • Cook outdoors on a flat level surface with a cleared radius of at least 10 feet. Don’t use a turkey fryer on wooden structures, such as decks or patios.
  • Be attentive when cooking and never leave the fryer unattended.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher approved for cooking or grease fires nearby.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working.  
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out. When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Don’t forget to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.


Additional resources:

Turkey Fryer Safety Tips:

State Farm Cooking Fire Safety Video on YouTube:

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Resources-Cooking Fires: