Unattended cooking continues to be a top cause of home fires and injuries. Since 2011, cooking fires have ranked second as the cause of home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. According to statistics from the National Fire Incident Reporting System, more than 5-thousand-200 cooking related fires were reported in Illinois between 2010 and 2012. Those fires resulted in 40 deaths, 337 injuries and a total dollar loss of close to 78 million dollars. Illinois’ State Fire Marshal is taking the lead in educating Illinois residents to practice safe cooking habits to prevent home fire tragedies. Safety tips include: Stay in the kitchen while cooking. If you have to leave the kitchen, turn off the stove. Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop. Keep a lid nearby to smother small grease fires. For more information about cooking safety visit the Illinois State Fire Marshal website.