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Safety cooking tips for Thanksgiving

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(Toledo News Now) -

Cooking is the leading cause of all fires in Ohio and the United States, and Thanksgiving Day can increase the likelihood of such a fire. The state fire marshal wants to remind Ohioans about the dangers of cooking fires this holiday season.

"The biggest problem is unattended fires. If no one is watching, things can get out of control fast," said State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers. "Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling or boiling food. And if you are simmering, roasting or baking, check the food regularly, use a timer and never leave the house while a heating source is on."

Marshal Flowers offers the following tips to reduce the 65% of holiday fires that occur from cooking:

-Have a safety zone. Keep children and pets 3 feet away from the stove and oven.

-Never hold a child or pet while cooking.

-Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.

-Keep potholders, oven mitts, towels and anything flammable away from your stovetop.

-Clean food and grease from burners and the stove top. 

-If you must use a turkey fryer, keep it outside, away from buildings and other structures, such as garages, carports and decks. Never leave the turkey fryer unattended. The turkey should be thawed prior to frying. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

-Keep an ABC multi-purpose dry chemical fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water on a grease fire. Water and grease are a dangerous combination because water can cause hot grease to splatter.

-If you are cooking and a fire starts, turn off the heat source, put a lid on it, and get out!

In addition, Flowers encourages Ohioans to have a working smoke alarm installed on every level of the home and in each bedroom or sleeping area.

Each member of the household should know the home fire escape plan and practice it twice a year. Guests should be aware of the escape plan and the location of any fire extinguishers in case there is an emergency.

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