Keep these Turkey Day fire safety tips in mind this Thursday

For fire departments across the nation, Thanksgiving can be a busy day.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the leading day for home fires involving cooking equipment.

“A lot of it boils down to cooking issues,” said Austin Fire Chief Jim McCoy.

To avoid a Thanksgiving Day fire, McCoy gave the following tips:

• If you’ve been drinking alcohol or are feeling sleepy, don’t cook on the stove.

• Stay in the kitchen while you’re frying or boiling anything.

• Turn off the stove top if you leave the kitchen.

• Set a timer as a reminder for anything cooking in the oven.

• Keep flammable material away from the stove.

• In the event of a grease fires smother it with a lid and make sure it is cool before moving. Do not use water to extinguish it.

• Keep kids at least three feet away from the stove while cooking.

• Make sure electrical cords are not hanging off the counter.

• Make sure pot handles are turned in while cooking on the stove.

• Make sure all smoke alarms are working.

• If deep frying a turkey, make sure it is thawed and dry, as water and boiling oil are a fire hazard.

• When using a turkey fryer, the U.S. Fire Administration recommends only using it outdoors on a level surface with at least three feet of space on all sides free of children and pets. The USFA also warns not to overfill the fryer as excess oil will spill out when the turkey is placed inside the pot.