Tips for safely preparing this year’s Thanksgiving meal


COLUMBUS — That scrumptious turkey could be more than you bargained for if you aren’t careful, cautioned Ohio Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment and State Fire Marshal Jeff Hussey.

November trends as a main month for cooking fires, according to Ohio’s Division of State Fire Marshal, and associated burns and property damage could spoil your Thanksgiving festivities.

“There are many distractions when cooking a Thanksgiving meal,” Froment said. “As basic as it sounds, staying focused and understanding how to safely prepare your meal can decrease the risk of injury, property damage and filing an insurance claim.”

One of the biggest culprits is deep-fried turkey cooking.

“Every year we see folks who have their Thanksgiving ruined because of a turkey fryer accident,” Hussey said. “And more than that, there were over 200 cooking related fires last November in Ohio. Our hope, as always, is that those numbers go down.”

There are steps Ohioans can take to stay safe and avoid an insurance claim:

Do not leave any cooking area unattended.

Keep deep-fried turkey cooking out of the garage, away from your home and wooden structures, including the deck.

Have an appropriate fire extinguisher handy.

If the situation becomes more serious, evacuate and call 911.

If you have to file a claim, take photographs of the damage and immediately contact your insurance agent and/or company. Provide complete and accurate information when submitting a claim to avoid delay.

You can call the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1526 with insurance questions and visit for information.

Staff report

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