How to prevent kitchen fires this holiday season

Burning wooden house close-up
Burning wooden house close-up(Story Blocks)
Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 5:06 PM AKST|Updated: Nov. 25, 2020 at 5:11 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Most families are used to coming together during the holidays: cooking dinner, visiting with friends and catching up with loved ones. But this year, preventing the spread of COVID-19 takes top priority.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging everyone to stay within their immediate families when celebrating. But there is another danger that’s lurking about: the possibility of a kitchen fire.

Around the holidays, people spend more time in the kitchen. According to State Farm, approximately one-third of home fires and related deaths occur during December, January and February. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States, stating that around two-thirds of home cooking fires begin with the ignition of food or other cooking materials and nearly half of all home fires start in the kitchen.

State Farm says they had 2,352 cooking-related fire claims in 2019, and the total amount paid for claims was over $126 million. The average amount paid in 2019 for cooking-related fires was $53,635.

To help protect loved ones and your home, State Farm has compiled a list of tips to help. They say to keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop, always remember to unplug counter top alliances, make sure ground-fault circuit interrupters are in place to prevent shock and electrocution, double-check that everything is off when cooking is done, keep the oven and stovetop clean of grease and dust, never leave the kitchen while cooking, never disable a smoke alarm and don’t use the stove to heat the house.

For more information on how to prevent and recover from kitchen and house fires, visit State Farm’s website.

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