Insurance experts: Thanksgiving is No. 1 holiday for kitchen fire catastrophes

(NEW YORK) — While you’re gearing up for Thanksgiving’s excesses, you might not consider catastrophic fire as one of them — but that’s exactly what’s at risk, say the experts with the National Fire Protection Association.

The agency notes that an estimated 2,000 residential fires happen each Thanksgiving Day, causing an average of five deaths, 25 injuries and $21 million in property damage.

In fact, Turkey Day is, statistically, the number-one day for kitchen fires and cooking-related insurance claims, report the experts at InsuranceQuotes.com.

The site explains: “A turkey takes forever in the oven. Numerous dishes are being created at once. All four burners and the oven are working overtime. Throw in … a 25-pound bird with searing hot gravy … Combine a large group of people of all ages cooking and eating in a confined space and mix in some wine, and what could go wrong?”

And while frying your Thanksgiving turkey is a delicious way to prepare the bird, if you do it wrong, you could find yourself homeless — or worse. State Farm Insurance says frying turkeys remains a major cause of Thanksgiving Day fires.

If you insist on deep frying your bird, InsuranceQuotes.com offers the following safety tips:

1) Fully thaw the turkey. Even a partially frozen bird can create a fire or even an explosion. Before putting it in the fryer, pat the turkey down with paper towel to cut down on splatter.

2) Keep a fire extinguisher handy and make everyone involved aware that you cannot extinguish a grease fire with water. Keep children and pets away.

3) Position your fryer on a level surface at least 15 feet from structures and keep anything flammable out of the immediate frying area.

4) Before lowering in your turkey, turn the burner or flame to the “off” position to prevent igniting the oil. Once it’s fully submerged, you can turn the flame back on.

5) Never leave the fryer unattended.

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