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Kitchen fires three times more likely on Thanksgiving

Cooking fires are the number one cause of fires in Boone County and in the nation.

That number triples on Thanksgiving Day as families prepare their holiday dinner, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Fire officials are reminding residents to always pay attention to what they’re cooking.

“People just need to be very cautious and understand that they have more going on,” said Gale Blomenkamp, Boone County Fire Protection District Battalion Chief. “There’s more distractions and more things to worry about.”

The NFPA estimates there were 1,550 cooking fires on Thanksgiving in 2013.

Blomenkamp said some cooking safety measures include keeping pots and pan handles turned in toward the stove where no one can bump into them. He also recommends to avoid wearing loose-fitting clothes that could potentially catch on a flame or burner.

The best method to put out a fire on the stove, according to Blomenkamp, is to simply put a lid over the flame.

“What we see a lot of times is something will catch on fire on the stove, people will grab a handle, turn to take it outside or put it in the sink and the flames come back into their hands,” he said. “It burns them, they drop it and now we have a grease fire on the floor or the counter.”

Blomekamp said a fire in the oven can also easily be extinguished.

“Ovens are contained and very well sealed, so if you leave the door closed, turn the heat off and turn that source off, you’re probably going to be pretty safe,” he said.

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