MISSOURI — The holiday season is upon us, which means the kitchen gets heavy use this time of year.

KMZU’s Nick Sadowski chatted with State Farm Public Affairs Specialist Kevin Gamble about the dangers that go along with holiday cooking and how to avoid them.

Click below to hear their conversation, which aired Wednesday on KMZU.

Most kitchen fires throughout the year take place during the holiday season because of one major mistake.

“Probably the number one mistake related to household cooking that result in fires is unattended cooking. If you just pay attention to the process and monitor what’s going on, you can handle most of those things before they turn into actual danger or damage,” Gamble said.

If an accident does occur, you should know how to handle it.

“You should never throw water on a kitchen fire, that can result in it spreading. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy. Make sure it is a fire extinguisher that is rated for cooking type fires, ” Gamble said.

It has become more popular to fry turkeys outdoors, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is any safer.

“Inherently, that’s a more dangerous way to go about it. Make sure its on a flat level surface because you don’t want to have that fryer knocked over, ” Gamble said.

While cooking outside may seem safer, be careful of what surface you cook on.

“Don’t do the frying on a wooden surface like a deck or a wooden patio because that can cause a big problem if anything upsets that fryer, ” Gamble explained.

These tips are useful to to know before cooking because a cooking accident can end up costing a lot of money.

“Overall in Missouri last year there were more than $3 million in home insurance claims that State Farm experienced and the average claim for each individual case was around $42,000. Just those few simple safety precautions can potentially save you a lot of money and a lot of difficulty over the holiday season.”