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Turkey Time: Stay Safe as You Cook Your Holiday Meal

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Thanksgiving is all about loved ones getting together and enjoying a delicious holiday dinner. Since cooking is the number one cause of home fires, the American Red Cross has steps people can follow to avoid a fire while preparing the holiday meal this year:

  • Don’t wear loose clothing or sleeves that dangle while cooking.
  • If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, never leave it unattended – stay in the kitchen. If you just leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you’re simmering, baking, roasting or broiling food, check it regularly.
  • Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.
  • Keep kids and pets away from the cooking area. Make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire - pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  • If you are deep-frying a turkey, keep the fryer outside and away from buildings and other flammable materials. Don’t overfill the fryer with oil. Keep children and pets away.
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
  • Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
  • Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
  • Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year – if your model requires it.
  • Bonus Tip

    Download the American Red Cross First Aid App. The app provides users with quick, expert advice on what to do in case of emergencies including what to do if someone is choking. See all the Red Cross apps at redcross.org/mobileapps.

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.