Red Cross offering Thanksgiving cooking safety tips

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CENTRAL ILLINOIS - The American Red Cross is offering central Illinois residents several safety tips for this Thanksgiving holiday.

Red Cross officials say volunteers respond to thousands of disasters every year, with most being home fires.  Officials also say Thanksgiving is the peak day for kitchen fires, and that most of those fires can be avoided by following these safety tips:

- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food, and don't leave food unattended
- Move flammable items away from the stove
- Keep kids and pets at least three feet away from the stove
- Clean the stove and area around it before cooking
- In order to avoid spills, turn pot handles to the back of the stove

Should a pan catch fire, you are advised to turn off the heat, slide a lid or baking sheet on top of the pan, and avoid moving the pan.  You should also avoid putting water on a grease or oil fire.  If something catches fire in the oven, keep the door closed and call 911 so responders can check to see if the fire spread to the walls.  If a fire occurs in the microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the device, and don't use it again until it's checked by a professional.

For more information and safety tips, visit http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/prevent-home-fires.

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