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According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), the average number of home fires almost double on Thanksgiving Day when compared to any other day of the year.Because cooking is an essential part of the Thanksgiving experience, the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office wants to help make this year’s festivities a time of rejoicing and safety by sharing the following safety tips:

· Kitchens should never be left unattended when, whether frying, broiling, or boiling

· Keep cooking areas safe by moving flammable objects away from heat sources. Turn pot handles toward the rear of the stovetop to prevent them from getting bumped and/or dragged off the stove.

· Always monitor what you're cooking and use a timer when roasting a turkey to prevent overcooking.

· Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet near to smother a pan fire. It is always a great idea to have and know where a fire extinguisher is located in the event of a fire.

· If oil or grease starts to smoke or boil in the pan, turn the burner off.

· Wear short sleeves or roll up long sleeves while cooking. Avoid leaning over the stovetop to prevent clothing from catching on fire. Use potholders and oven mitts when handling cookware.

The USFA suggests the following when frying turkeys:

· Care should be taken when positioning turkey fryers to avoid spillage of hot cooking oil, which can cause horrendous injury.

· Make sure that cooking oil levels are appropriate for the size of turkey being cooked, as overflowing oil can cause a large fire.

· Turkeys should be completely thawed completely prior to being placed into heated cooking oil. Frozen turkeys can cause oil to splatter.

· Use a thermometer or thermostat controls to avoid overheating oil. Oil that is heated to its ignition point will catch fire.

· Remember that the handles, sides and lids of pots can become dangerously hot.