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Sacramento November 22, 2017 – Thanksgiving is almost here and CAL FIRE is reminding Californians about the dangers that can happen in your home this holiday season.

“While we are with our family and friends, it is so important to not get distracted while cooking,” said Chief Dennis Mathisen, State Fire Marshal. “On Thanksgiving day we tend to have multiple items cooking on the stove with many family members surrounding us. With that, make sure to always stand next to the oven or stove when you are cooking to avoid any accidents in the kitchen. Thanksgiving Day is one of our busier days responding to home cooking fires, and we want to reduce that number by practicing fire safety.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and Christmas Eve.

“Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires, with Thanksgiving having four times the average number,” said Lynne Tolmachoff, Chief of Public Education. “That is why it is important to always watch what you are cooking and never leave it unattended. One critical safety measure is to ensure you have working smoke alarms installed throughout your home. It’s an added measure to protect you and your family from fires in your home.”

To help reduce the chance of fire and injuries associated with holiday cooking fires, CAL FIRE would like to offer the following tips:

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  • Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food. If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period, turn off the stove and oven.
  • Regularly check on food that is simmering, baking or roasting, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Someone walking by is less likely to bump them or pull them over.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Have activities that keep kids out of the kitchen during this busy time.
  • Make sure a fire extinguisher is handy always. Never use water to put out a grease fire.
  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms installed in your home.
  • When using a turkey fryer, be sure to follow instructions closely. Don’t exceed the recommended oil level and only use the device outdoors!

For the cooking fire safety fact sheet, click here, or visit our website.