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Bryan County Emergency Services: Be careful in kitchen

Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, according to Bryan County Emergency Services.

The average number of home fires on Thanksgiving is double the number on all other days. To keep your family safe this Thanksgiving, remember these tips.

• Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking.
• Make your cooking area safe. Move things that can burn away from the stove. Turn pot handles toward the back.
• Be prepared. Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet handy in case you need to smother a pan fire.
• Stay alert. If you see smoke or grease starting to boil, turn the burner off.
• Prevent burns. Wear short sleeves when you cook, or roll them up. Don’t lean over the burner. Use potholders and oven mitts.

If you are frying a turkey remember;:

• Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot oil.
• Putting a turkey into an overfilled cooking pot will spill oil, and a partially frozen turkey will cause oil to splatter.
• Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can ignite.
• Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil and even start a fire.
• The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles can get dangerously hot.

Based on annual averages:

• Unattended cooking was the leading cause of home cooking fires.
• Two-thirds of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
• Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1 percent of fires, but accounted for 16 percent of the cooking fire deaths.
• Ranges accounted for the largest share (58 percent) of cooking fires. Ovens accounted for 16 percent.
• Three of every 5 reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
• Frying poses the greatest risk of fire.

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