Fire safety practices while cooking Thanksgiving dinner

Hampden County

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s the one day a year many families come together to give thanks for what they have, but your Thanksgiving could end tragically if you’re not careful.

The State Fire Marshal says majority of Thanksgiving fires are started by cooking and is encouraging you to practice fire safety so your day doesn’t end with unexpected guests like firefighters.

In the last 5 years, cooking activities have been the cause of 86 percent of just over 700 Thanksgiving Day fires in Massachusetts. So there are some important things to remember this Thanksgiving.

22News stopped by the Chicopee Fire Department where we learned the first step, is making sure your home is equipped to tell you if something is wrong.

“We encourage everyone to have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms,” Chicopee Fire Lt. Katie Collins-Kalbaugh recommends. “In case there is a fire, they’ll have early warning. If there’s a problem with their stove they’ll have notification that there’s a carbon monoxide issue.”

Secondly, before you go to bake all those fixings, make sure your oven is empty prior to turning it on. Also be sure to have on the proper cooking apparel; short or tight fitting sleeves will avoid clothing catching fire.

And when your pie is achieving that perfect golden crust in the oven, Lt. Collins-Kalbaugh says, “Don’t leave the home. Stay around the home. You don’t need to stay in the room with it but use a timer to remind you that the food should be done cooking.”

When it comes to cooking that turkey in a trendy fashion, like frying it, the National Fire Protection Association recommends using new oil-less turkey fryers. They say the risk of an oil spill or the ignition of spilled oil is high and can create a dangerous situation in seconds.

If a cooking fire does break out at your home and you’re unable to contain it, leave your house and call 911 from outside.

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