Much of America will soon have a Thanksgiving turkey and all the fixings in their oven.

However, cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires, according to the American Red Cross. Most are started because of unattended cooking.

That’s why the American Red Cross is sharing several tips, so you can safely enjoy the holiday with minimal damage.

One of the first things you should never do is leave cooking food unattended.

If using the oven, be sure to check on what you’re cooking and stay inside the home. Meanwhile, if you’re using the stove and have to step away — even for a short while — turn it off. You must always keep an eye on whatever you’re frying.

Another thing you can do is avoid wearing or putting any flammable materials close to the cooking source.


Move any items that could burn away from the stove. That includes dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper and curtains. Any loose clothing or dangling sleeves can also catch on fire, so avoid wearing them. As always, make sure you keep children and pets at least three feet away.

If you see smoke or grease starts to boil on the stove, turn the burner off. After you turn it off, carefully remove the pan from the burner.

While cooking, you can also keep a pan lid or cookie sheet nearby in case the pan catches on fire. You can use those items to cover the pan and put out the fire safely. However, make sure you leave the pan covered until it’s completely cooled down.

Another way you can avoid mishap is by turning pot handles to the back of the stove. This will ensure no one bumps them or knocks them over.

Lastly, set a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on. Before going to bed or leaving home, you should also check the kitchen to ensure everything is turned off.

The Red Cross also suggested that families check smoke alarms and practice an escape plan so everyone can get out quickly.

For more information, you can visit the Red Cross website.