Thanksgiving’s prime time for home-cooking fires


GALION — 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 No. 1 cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.

And NFPA data shows that Thanksgiving Day is the peak day for home-cooking fires. In 2018, State Farm reports the company paid more than $118 million for nearly 2,500 cooking/grease fire homeowners. claims across the U.S. This does not includes renters and condo unit claims

The average State Farm cooking/grease fire claim in the U.S. was more than $48,000 in 2018.

Ohio had 102 cooking/grease fire claims and the average paid per claim was $38,000 in 2018.

Oil and water do not mix. You’ve heard it a thousand times. But unfortunately, this common knowledge is often forgotten in the heat of the moment.

State Farm Thanksgiving Safety tips

Because many families and friends engage in cooking during the holidays, it is important to follow some basic safety tips.

What you should know about home cooking safety

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

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.

Safety considerations for cooking with oil:

  • Always stay in the kitchen when frying on the stovetop.
  • Keep an eye on what you fry. If you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells, immediately turn off the burner and/or carefully remove the pan from the burner. Smoke is a danger sign that the oil is too hot.
  • Heat the oil slowly to the temperature you need for frying or sautéing.
  • Add food gently to the pot or pan so the oil does not splatter.
  • Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water ​on the fire.
  • If the fire does not go out or you don’t feel comfortable sliding a lid over the pan, get everyone out of your home. Call the fire department from outside.

 

Staff report

galnews@aimmediamidwest.com