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State Fire Marshal Shares Thanksgiving Safety Tips

This Thanksgiving, the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) urges Illinoisans to be mindful when preparing Thanksgiving dinner.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year. In 2015, fire departments responded to over 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving.

“Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate with family and friends. The last thing we want to see is your holiday ruined by a devastating fire,” said Fire Marshal Matt Perez. “These simple fire safety tips will ensure you and your loved ones’ safety throughout the holiday season.”

The NFPA recommends the following:

• Stay at home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
• Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
• Turn pot handles inward over the stove – out of reach from hands, pets and accidental bumps of the hip.
• 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.

If you will be deep frying a turkey, OSFM recommends following these tips:

• Never leave your fryer unattended.
• Keep the fryer outdoors – off decks, out of garages and away from trees.
• 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.

For additional home fire safety information, please visit the OSFM website.