WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — As the coronavirus pandemic has focused the minds of many on new safety precautions this Thanksgiving, the need to remain vigilant for cooking fires remains.

According to the American Red Cross, Thanksgiving is one of the peak days nationwide for cooking fires, which is the top cause of home fires in the country. And as a study determined that 70% of Americans consider cooking a common behavior, the Red Cross is encouraging behaviors to limit the risk of cooking fires.

The American Red Cross in Eastern New York urges all to following the listed safety tips:

  • Never leave cooking food unattended, turn off the stove even when leaving the kitchen for a short period of time
  • Move items that can burn away from the stove; including dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper, and curtains
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing while cooking
  • Turn burner off if smoke appears or grease starts to boil while frying food
  • Keep a pan lid or cookie sheet nearby to cover pan if it catches fire

The Red Cross also reminds New Yorkers to always prepare to escape a fire in less than two minutes. Preparations include testing smoke alarms monthly and practice home fire escape plans.