TRUCKEE, Calif. - Thanksgiving is a time filled with family, friends, food and giving thanks, but it's also when disaster can strike.
Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with 1,370 fires being reported that day in 2010, a 219 percent increase from the daily average, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
"Thanksgiving is a fun, festive holiday, but it's also very hectic," said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA, in a press release. "All the entertaining and distractions make it easy to forget about what's cooking on the stovetop."
Below are a few fire safety tips from the Truckee Fire Protection District
• Before cooking, make sure the batteries within smoke detectors are in and working.
• Have a fire extinguisher nearby.
• Don't wear loose clothing or dangling items when cooking.
• Be sure to keep pot handles and electrical appliance cords out of reach from children.
• Keep the cooking station clean and cleared.
• Don't leave cooking food unattended.
• If leaving the kitchen or the house, turn everything off.
• Have at least two escape routes out of the house that everyone knows and children have practiced, should a fire break out.
If a fire does break out
• Get everyone out of the house.
• Call 9-1-1.
• If possible, turn off the heat for cooking items.
• If a small grease fire breaks out, turn off the heat and cover with a lid to smother it. Don't use water to extinguish the flame.
• For an oven fire, turn off the heat and close the oven door.
"The overall message is for everybody to have a safe and happy holiday, but remember that Truckee Fire is there for any emergency that might arise and to call 911 for any fire or medical emergencies," said Paul Spencer, public safety and information office for the Truckee Fire Protection District.