NEW JERSEY -- The holiday is a time when cooks spend a lot of time in the kitchen and there are tips they can use to avoid a cooking fire while whipping up their Thanksgiving dinner. The American Red Cross New Jersey Region has assembled a number of safety tups for the holidays.

“Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times of year for travelers and we want to help everyone remain safe as they visit with loved ones,” said Paul Gass, regional preparedness manager, American Red Cross New Jersey Region. “Cooking is a leading cause of home fires, so we are encouraging cooks to take preecautions.”

COOKING SAFETY

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Cooks should avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while preparing the holiday meal. Never leave the stove unattended – you have to leave the kitchen even for a short time, should turn off the stove. More cooking safety steps are:

  • Check food regularly.
  • Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
  • Keep children and pets away from the cooking area.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire -- pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels or curtains -- away from the stove, oven or other kitchen appliance that generates heat.
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
  • Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen.
  • Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.

The Red Cross has created a downloadable First Aid App for information if an emergency occurs. Visit redcross.org/apps.

The American Red Cross provides programs and services to 8.8 million people in New Jersey. The organization trains and mobilizes more than 5,800 volunteers who support the delivery of services throughout the state. Last year, the Red Cross responded to 889 local disasters, mostly home fires, helping 1,820 displaced families; collected 88,439 units of blood through blood drives and Red Cross Blood Donation Centers; provided 3,920 military family case services with emergency messages, helping families find assistance and/or get counseling and referrals; and trained 117,088 individuals with life-saving skills in preparedness, CPR, AED use, first aid and aquatics. Follow on Twitter @RedCrossNorthNJ and @RedCrossSouthNJ.