Here’s something to add to your last-minute Thanksgiving shopping list: Band-Aids.
According to data released by State Farm, South Carolinians are the most accident-prone Thanksgiving cooks in the continental U.S. Although five more-populous states submitted more claims related to holiday cooking disasters, South Carolina from 2005-2012 had a greater incidence of reported Thanksgiving Day mishaps than every other state except Alaska.
In New York, during the years covered by the survey, one out of every 889,545 residents reported an injury or fire caused by cooking. That means New Yorkers have a better chance of drowning in the bathtub than starting a fire with a turkey. By contrast, one out of every 295,250 South Carolinians had a bad run-in with a deep-fryer or kitchen grease.
Alaskans had an even worse record: One out of every 146,289 residents saw a holiday meal go dangerously awry.
“If it is raining, snowing or sleeting, people are more likely to move their turkey fryer onto a deck or into the garage,” State Farm spokeswoman Heather Paul explained. “This is a big mistake.”
Although Thursday’s forecast doesn’t call for any precipitation in Anchorage, where the high is expected to reach 16 degrees, the city typically receives 13 inches of snow in November. That’s also known as fry-close-to-home weather.
But the weather can’t explain away South Carolina’s collective clumsiness. And Southern cooking traditions can’t be blamed either: By rate of incidence, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Oklahoma are among the most dangerous states in which to cook Thanksgiving dinner. (Louisiana is the only Southern state with an incidence rate approaching South Carolina.)
Asked why the number of claims per capita is so high in the Midwest, Paul said conclusively, “I don’t have an answer for this.”
While State Farm’s numbers may be slightly skewed by the geographic distribution of its policy holders, the State Fire Marshall’s statistics also suggest South Carolinians are at particular risk of setting structures aflame over the holiday.
“South Carolina has twice as many cooking fires on Thanksgiving as compared to (an average day),” State Fire Marshall Shane Ray said. “We just want everyone to be cautious and aware and stay with their cooking.”