TIPS: How to avoid a fire during Thanksgiving cooking

TIPS: How to avoid a fire during Thanksgiving cooking

(WTVM) - Thanksgiving is the best time to gather with family and friends and chow down on greens, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, lamb, etc.

But as you cook everything imaginable for family and friends, don't forget your cooking safety tips to prevent home fires.

"Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many fires occurring on that day," according to a press release from the Alabama Department of Insurance State Fire Marshal's Division. "Fire officials say it is easy to get distracted or lose track of what's going on in the kitchen when busy or inexperienced cooks are trying to prepare several dishes while entertaining family and friends."

Here are some tips ahead of your Thanksgiving prep:

  • Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short time, turn off the stove.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains away from the stovetop.
  • Turn pot handles toward the center of the stove.
  • Keep the number of people in your kitchen to a minimum, especially children. Crowded kitchens cause confusions and often result in burns.
  • In the event of a stovetop fire, carefully slide a cookie sheet or lid over the pan and turn off the stove. Never attempt to carry a hot pan to the sink.
  • If you have a fire in the oven, close the oven door and turn off the heat. Once the oxygen is depleted, the fire will go out. Wait until the oven is completely cooled before opening the door again. This applies to microwave ovens, too.

And remember - burn bans and fire restrictions are happening across Georgia and Alabama.

Copyright 2016 WTVM. All rights reserved.