Thanksgiving top day for home cooking fires

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Waiting for grandma's delicious home-cooked turkey can quickly turn from heavenly to hell on Earth if safety isn't made a top priority.

That's because the National Fire Protection Agency says Thanksgiving Day is the peak day of the year for home cooking fires with more than three times as many house fires reported than on a daily average.

Hundreds of people are injuried and nearly half a billion dollars in property is damaged annually on the most thankful day of the year.

There are ways to prevent these kitchen fires says Lorraine Carli, Vice President of Communications for NFPA. ""As much as unexpected guests are sometimes a part of the holidays, you don't want the fire department arriving because your feast is going up in flames."

First, stay in the kitchen if there is something frying, grilling or broiling. If you have to leave, make sure someone else's eyes are on the stove until you get back, or just the stove off.

Second, a timer is always a good idea if you're simmering, baking, boiling or roasting food. It will remind you that the stove or oven is still on.

Third, what you wear is important. Loose fitting clothes or dangling sleeves could spell disaster and can catch fire if they come into contact with flames.

With family and friends over, you're inevitably going to have children running around playing while they wait on the food to cook. Keep them out of the kitchen by making a "kid-free zone". It's also a good idea to use the back burners and to push pot handles inward so curious children can't knock them over.

And, as grandma always used to say, "The job's not finished until everything is put away." Make sure you clean up food and grease from the stove burners and stove top so there's no chance of a fire burning extra food, and possibly the house.

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