The conversation around celebrating Thanksgiving safely has most pertained to COVID-19, but State Fire Officials are urging residents to make fire safety a priority this Thanksgiving.

The State Fire Marshal's office said that cooking activities caused 86 percent of the 704 Thanksgiving Day fires in Massachusetts over the last five years.

There are more house fires on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year and the majority are cooking fires...Practice fire safety this holiday to prevent any unexpected guests (like firefighters) from ruining your festivities

Mass. State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey in a statement.

Residents are reminded to check their homes to ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are

The state offered these tips to stay safe:

  • Check to make sure your oven is empty before turning it on.
  • Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking.
  • Turn pot handles inward over the stove.
  • Remember to “stand by your pan" and stay in the kitchen when boiling, frying or broiling.
  • Use a timer when baking or roasting and never leave the house with the oven running.
  • The best way to respond to a stovetop fire is to “put a lid on it” and turn off the heat.
  • The best way to respond to an oven or broiler fire is to keep the oven doors closed and turn off the heat.
  • If the fire is not quickly snuffed out, leave the house and call 911 from outside.

In addition, the National Fire Protection Association discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil.

The NFPA states that home use of 'turkey fryers that use cooking oil, as currently designed, are not suitable for safe use by even a well-informed and careful consumer. This risk of an oil spill or the ignition of spilled oil is quite high.

Alternatively, those looking to fry a turkey are encouraged to use new 'oil-less' turkey fryers.

State officials also reminded residents that home heating is the second leading cause of Thanksgiving day fires.  Residents are encouraged to get a check-up on your furnace and have chimneys cleaned and inspected at the start of the heating season.

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