Red Cross urges public follow Thanksgiving safety tips

HARLINGEN — As families continue preparing for a Thanksgiving like never experienced before because of the coronavirus pandemic, they’re advised to keep safe cooking practices in mind.

The American Red Cross Texas Gulf Coast region is urging families to follow safety tips that will help prevent cooking fires this Thanksgiving.

According to a press release from the nonprofit organization, the holiday is one of the peak days for cooking fires, which is the top cause of home fires in the United States.

The organization states that these emergencies are most often caused by unattended cooking, which is a common behavior done by nearly 70 percent of participants in a national survey American Red Cross conducted early this year.

The American Red Cross Texas Gulf Coast region suggests keeping an eye on what’s being fried and to never leave cooking food unattended.

Those that must leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, are recommended to turn off the stove.

Another tip for preventing fires is to move flammable items, such as dishtowels, bags, boxes, papers and curtains away from the stove.

Children and pets should also stay at least three feet away from the stove.

Individuals are advised to avoid wearing loose clothing while cooking.

When frying food, it’s recommended to turn the burner off if there’s smoke or if the grease starts to boil. The pan should be carefully removed from the burner.

While cooking, it’s also recommended that a pan, lid or cookie sheet is nearby to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire, and the pan should be covered until it’s completely cooled.

For more information about cooking safety tips, visit