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Franklin fire safety educator gives Thanksgiving fire prevention tips

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The Franklin Fire Department is issuing fire prevention tips ahead of the holiday season.

Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home cooking fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. It’s followed by Christmas Day, the day before Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas Eve.  

With this in mind, Franklin Fire and Life Safety Educator Jamie Melton said it’s especially important to cook with caution during the holidays. She offered simple cooking fire prevention tips and shared what to do if you encounter a small cooking fire.

Cooking fire prevention tips:

• Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, boiling, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove (at the very least carry a spoon, spatula or potholder with you as a reminder that you’re cooking).

• If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

• Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

How to fight a small cooking fire (in its early stages):

• Stovetop grease fire: Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. Smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. Call 911, even if you think the fire is out.

• Oven or microwave fire: Turn off the heat or power and keep the door closed. Call 911. 

• Turkey fryer fire: If you see smoke coming off your pot or oil, that’s a sign it has overheated and is nearing ignition. Shut it off and let the oil cool down. Keep a B-rated or multi-purpose, “ABC” fire extinguisher close by in case a fire does start. Use it only after calling 911. To use your extinguisher, remember the acronym “PASS,” pull the pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle, sweep back and forth from side to side until the fire is out.

Last but not least, if you have any doubt about fighting a small fire, Melton said just get everyone out immediately. When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 911 from outside the home.

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