Be careful when cooking this Thanksgiving

ATLANTA – On the roads this Thanksgiving, drivers need to take extra caution. But, cooks in the kitchen also need to be extra cautious this holiday.

“In past years we’ve had numerous fatal fires which were cooking-related,” Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John Oxendine said in a news release. “Many fires are caused by a stove that has been accidentally left on.”

Oxendine has a few simple tips for avoiding cooking calamities this Thanksgiving, including installing enough smoke detectors, setting a timer when cooking and never use a cooking stove to heat a home. In addition, Oxendine suggests households have a fire extinguisher handy and an evacuation plan at the ready.

Most fatal fires happen between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., when families are sleeping, according to Oxendine.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the leading day for cooking fires. On Thanksgiving in 2008, firefighters nationwide responded to 1,300 home cooking fires – an increase from the daily average of 420.

“Thanksgiving is a holiday of feasting, but it’s also a day of intense cooking, when stovetops and ovens are working overtime,” Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications, said in a news
release. “These culinary activities bring an increased risk of fire particularly when people are trying to prepare several dishes while entertaining friends and family.”

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