In 2015 fire departments across the country were called to over 1,700 homes for Thanksgiving- and it wasn’t to eat. According to CBS2 Chicago and the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the peak day for when most home cooking fires occur.

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Being a great civilian and following his honor code, Illinois state fire marshal, Matt Perez, is urging people to be safe in the kitchen this week. So he and the NFPA have teamed up to offer some fire safety tips we should all probably be following year-round anyway.

Matt first and foremost urges that everyone have a fire extinguisher in their home. As for the actual cooking, he suggests staying at home when the turkey is in the oven. By NO means leave your oven unattended and check on your bird often.

You’re also going to want to turn the pot handles inward over the stove. Make sure you also keep them out of reach from accidental bumps from the family klutz (AKA me) or pets. It may seem obvious but better be safe than sorry!

Matt would also advise to those using turkey fryers to keep a close eye on them, don’t leave it unattended, use them outside but keep them away from walls, trees, and off decks.

Stay at home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently. The NFPA has it’s own set of tips and regulations we should follow for the holiday and every other day in between.

• Keep the floor clear and electrical cords out of the way so there is less chance of tripping.

• Put a lid on stove top fires. Keep oven doors closed and turn off the heat, in case of fire.

• Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

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For those with a turkey fryer, here are some extra tips from the OSFM:

• Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dry before frying as frozen or wet turkeys can cause hot oil splatters.

• Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into oil. Turn the burner back on when the turkey is completely submerged.

• Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If a fire occurs, call 911 immediately.

• Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

Fire safety tips for Turkey day straight from the Illinois Fire Marshal Flickr/State Farm
Mariana writes for Rare Chicago.
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