MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Thanksgiving is just four days away!
It’s the time of year that warms the hearts of a lot of folks, and it also heats up in the kitchen as many of us will be busy preparing Thanksgiving dinner.
Between cooking and talking with family members, an accident could happen in the blink of an eye.
The Milledgeville Fire Department has some tips on how to keep you, your family, and home safe while cooking this holiday season.
"Thanksgiving day is the leading day in America for house fires,” Battalion Chief David Ussrey said.
Ussrey explains that out of all the structure fires in America during the holiday season, 150,000 of them were caused by cooking.
"Just in the city of Milledgeville last year, we had an uptick in the Thanksgiving holiday of 10 fires as a result of cooking,” he said.
Ussrey says these fires could've been preventable by using some of these tips.
For his first tip, Ussrey says to make sure you have working smoke detectors.
"They need to be tested! We recommend it at least once a month.”
He says grease fires are also common– especially when frying something– and can become dangerous quickly. Ussrey says if you see flames, do not use water to put it out!
"Cut the heat off to the pot. Take that lid or a baking sheet and lay it over the top of it and, essentially, smother it out,” he said.
Ussrey says if that doesn't work, baking soda or salt can snuff the flames. He also says having a fire extinguisher nearby is a good idea, and knowing how to use it is even better.
“Don’t wait until the moment you need it to figure it out. So, get comfortable with what to do and how to use a fire extinguisher.”.
Another tip-- never leave something cooking without supervision. He says that's how a fire he responded to three years ago started.
"She lived five minutes away from Krogers and she came back to her house on fire,” he said.
Katherine Rayey says this is her second time cooking a Thanksgiving feast, but she’s had grease fire troubles before.
"I wasn't expecting it to start popping and then it just caught on fire,” she said.
Rayley had a fire extinguisher to put out the flames, but says it could've been bad if she didn't have one.
Tracey Hall says she’s thankfully never experienced a kitchen fire, but says it's important to know how to respond if it happens.
"One I wasn't aware of, which was the salt. Never thought,” she said.
Ussrey says the fire departments in town have partnered with the American Red Cross, so if you don't have a smoke detector, or can't afford one, you can contact your local fire department and they can even help you install it.