Hickory – Did you know that Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment? With all that cooking, Hickory firefighters would like to remind folks of a few safe-cooking practices.

Stay in the kitchen while cooking or turn the stove off if you must leave the room. Keep an eye on the food.

Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it often.

Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away. Also children should stay away from hot foods and liquids. The steam or splash can cause serious burns.

Be sure electrical cords are not dangling off the counter within reach of young children.

Keep appliances clean from grease build up and wipe up spills immediately.

Wear tight fitting sleeves. Since loose sleeves and clothing can dangle too close to a hot stove and easily catch fire, protect yourself by wearing sleeves that fit snugly or roll them up while cooking.

Keep flammable objects away from the stove. This includes potholders, paper products, and dish towels.

Don’t overload electrical outlets. Too many appliances can overload the electrical system and cause a fire. If a wire is frayed or cracked, it should be replaced immediately.

Heat cooking oils slowly and never leave it unattended.

Turn pot handles inward. A pot handle sticking over the edge of your stove can be bumped in passing or grabbed by a child causing burn injuries.

Operate microwaves safely. Remember the food can be very hot so use potholders to take food out of the microwave. Avoid steam burns by opening food packages carefully.

If a grease fire should occur, smother it with baking soda, a pot lid or use a fire extinguisher. But never use water because it will make the fire larger and possibly cause burns to you.