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Here are the Georgia Red Cross' five safety tips to prevent cooking fires

Cooking fires reportedly increase by 250% on Thanksgiving and 59% on Christmas Day.

ATLANTA — The Georgia Red Cross is warning people about the potential for cooking fires, even as COVID-19 has changed how many of us will gather during the holidays.

According to the organization, citing a National Fire Protection Association report, cooking fires increase by 250% on Thanksgiving and 59% on Christmas Day.

"Across the holiday months of November and December for the past four years (2016-2019), the Georgia Red Cross has responded to nearly 2,200 home and apartment fires and has helped over 9,500 people recover from this type of disaster across the state," a release said.

The Georgia Red Cross offers these five tips for cooking safety:

  • Be watchful: "Never leave cooking food unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove."
  • Be mindful: "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."
  • Be dressed right: "Avoid wearing loose clothing while cooking."
  • Be aware: "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."
  • Be prepared: "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."