North Carolina ranks among worst states for cooking fires

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a fun time with family and friends and of course, lots of food, but according to State Farm Insurance, North Carolina ranks tenth in the United States for cooking fire losses.

An agent with State Farm, Karen Boone, says Thanksgiving is the peak day for these fires. In 2017, North Carolina saw 138 claims with over 5.7 million in paid losses.

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. The NFPA says a third of fires take place in the kitchen and the number one cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking. So, if you have been chosen or have volunteered to prepare the food at home for your thankful guests, please be a mindful chef and don't let a distraction cut short your holiday feast.

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How to cook a turkey: Follow these tips to help you safely prepare your meal.

A popular practice is deep frying your turkey. If this sounds like you then it's best to choose a bird that is between 8 to 10 pounds, never use a turkey fryer on wooden structures, such as decks and patios, and never leave a fryer unattended. We have more information on turkey fryer safety in the link below.

More turkey fryer safety tips here.

However, if a fire starts, State Farm recommends never throw water on a kitchen fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out and call 911 or the local emergency number after you leave.

We have some other cooking safety tips below, in addition, State Farm has provided us with their cooking fire safety video.

Keep a lid beside the pan when cooking
Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop
Choose a smaller turkey for frying (8 - 10 lbs.)
Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking
Cook outdoors on a flat level surface with a cleared radius of at least 10 feet

Be attentive when cooking
Keep a fire extinguisher approved for cooking or grease fires nearby
Make sure your smoke alarms are working

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