SALT LAKE CITY, UT (Daily Dish) – The Utah American Red Cross says cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and Thanksgiving is the peak day for these fires. The Red Cross along with the Salt Lake City Fire Department are urging families to follow cooking safety steps to help prevent your holiday celebrations from going up in smoke.

These safety tips will help you have made sure you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving dinner this year:
• Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers. 
• While cooking, don’t wear loose clothing or sleeves that dangle. 
• If you are frying, grilling, or broiling food, never leave it unattended—stay in the kitchen. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires. 
• If a pan should catch fire, use a lid to smother it. Do not use water!
• If you’re deep frying, make sure your turkey is fully thawed and do not overfill the fryer with oil.
• If you’re simmering, baking, roasting, or broiling food, check it regularly. 
• Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on. 
• Keep kids and pets away from the cooking area. Make them stay at least three feet away from the stove. 
• Keep anything that can catch fire—potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains—away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat. 
• Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup. 
• Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off. 

The Red Cross offers free safety resources online and says to make sure to check your smoke alarms and practice your escape plan so you’re prepared.