HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - There are more than three times as many cooking fires on Thanksgiving as a typical day of the year, making it by far the leading day for U.S. home cooking fires.
For first responders, the holidays can be a time where they respond to a higher number of emergency calls than usual and firefighters across the nation see an uptick in house fires on Thanksgiving.
“We have responded to one and we’d get that out and another one would be happening at the same time,” said Billy Russell, a public fire educator in Hattiesburg.
Russel said he’s witnessed a lot of tragedies around this time of year. And because of that, he’s urging families to be safe while they’re cooking as they gather this year for Thanksgiving
“The main thing in the kitchen is to make sure you don’t leave your food left unattended," Russell said. “Anytime you’re cooking stay in the kitchen.”
A trick you can use is to take a pot holder or a wooden spoon with you to remind yourself that you need to get back to the kitchen and tend to the food your cooking.
He adds that you shouldn’t grill or use deep fryers in a garage or under a carport.
“We’ve had one they were cooking under a garage and there was a vehicle involved also, so the vehicle caught on fire plus the garage caught on fire and the house was beginning to catch on fire when we arrived,” said Russell.
Russell points out the importance of keeping your children in an appropriate area when you’re cooking as well.
“Keep children away from the stove," Russell said. “Make a three-foot area around the stove so children stay at least three feet away from the stove. That way they won’t be tempted to grab the pot handle and see what moms got cooking.”
The holidays are times where we celebrate the good in life and by paying close attention to what we’re doing, we can prevent costly damages or worse, critical or fatal injuries.