Tuesday October 3rd, 2023 8:58PM

Red Cross of Georgia: Be careful in the kitchen this Thanksgiving

By AccessWDUN staff

In November and December of 2020, the American Red Cross of Georgia responded to 556 home fires across the state. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says home fires triple on Thanksgiving Day. With that in mind, Red Cross is urging caution in the kitchen this Thanksgiving.

"Cooking is one of our primary culprits for these home fires," said LaToysa Rooks, Interim Regional Disaster Officer for the American Red Cross of Georgia. 

Rooks told AccessWDUN the agency wants Georgia families to brush up on their fire safety, especially before they head into the kitchen.

While there are a number of factors that contribute to cooking fires, one of the primary issues is unattended cooking.

"Keep an eye on what you're cooking on the stove," Rooks said. "We've also come across instances where people will leave their stoves on and they'll leave, you know, literally leave their home."

Rooks said she understands the kitchen is a favorite gathering place for families, but a crowded kitchen increases the risk of both fires and injuries.

"The kitchen is the heart of the home, so a lot of times there are more people in the kitchen than would usually be. We want to make sure that we're turning [pot] handles in so that nobody bumps into them," Rooks said. She said it's also a good idea to keep young children and pets out of the kitchen for their personal safety.

For more information on holiday cooking safety, see the information box below. Follow this link to learn more about the work of The American Red Cross.


  • Keep an eye on what you fry. Never leave cooking food unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Move items that can burn away from the stove. This includes dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper, and curtains. Also, keep children and pets at least three feet away.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  • When frying food, turn the burner off if you see smoke or if the grease starts to boil. Carefully remove the pan from the burner.
  • Keep a pan lid or a cookie sheet nearby. Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • Turn pot handles to the back of the stove, so no one bumps them or pulls them over.
  • Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on. Check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home to ensure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
  • Associated Categories: Local/State News, Submitted News
  • Associated Tags: cooking safety, cooking fire, American Red Cross , American Red Cross of Georgia, holiday safety
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