Keep an eye on what you fry this Thanksgiving

By: American Red Cross
| Published 11/21/2023


THE WOODLANDS, TX — Thanksgiving is one of the country’s top days for cooking fires, and the Texas Gulf Coast Region encourages family chefs to follow simple steps to prepare the holiday feast safely.

Thanksgiving is one of the top days for home cooking fires in the U.S.

“Home fires are a real threat over the holidays and represent most of our disaster responses in the Texas Gulf Coast Region,” said Vanessa Valdez, Regional Communications Manager, Texas Gulf Coast Region, Red Cross. “Help keep your family safe by always keeping an eye on what you fry, testing your smoke alarms monthly and practicing your two-minute escape plan with everyone in your household.”

COOKING SAFETY TIPS Follow these safety tips and visit for more information, including an escape plan to practice with your family. You can also download the free Red Cross Emergency and First Aid apps by searching “American Red Cross” in app stores.

  • 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.

IF YOU NEED HELP If you cannot afford to purchase smoke alarms or are physically unable to install one, the Red Cross may be able to help. Contact your local Red Cross for help at 713-313-5315 or you may fill out an application on our website,

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