Turkey day is most likely day for cooking-related fires

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

Recent studies show nearly four times as many cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving day as any typical day as U.S. fire departments responded to over 1.730 home cooking fires on turkey day alone.

Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor to cooking fires and deaths and cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all home fires across the nation.

In Springfield, cooking-related fires are the number one cause of house fires and the number one cause of fire-related injuries.

So it's important how you respond if the emergency happens at your home.

"The problem is we panic and react without thinking," explained Springfield Fire Department spokesperson Cara Erwin.

The Springfield Fire Department gave a demonstration on how to deal with a stove grease fire. Salt, baking soda..not baking powder, and flour are some methods used.

"Technically speaking they could all work," Erwin said. "But there just not the best options. What happens when you see the flour is that it not only doesn't put out the fire, but it spreads the fire around a little bit."

And definitely don't use water.

"It causes a large fireball and if you have counters or anything around it you're gonna have a big problem."

So rather than use any of those items, the best answer is simply to put a lid over the grease fire if possible.

"You always want to keep in mind that fire loves oxygen," Erwin explained. "And the more oxygen you givea fire, the bigger it's going to get. So the best way to get rid of the oxygen is just to slide a lid right over the top of it."

Or of course use a fire extinguisher if you have it.

And if you have an oven fire?

"If you open the oven door you're feeding the fire oxygen and it's going to get bigger," Erwin said.

So keep the oven closed, turn off the heat, and wait for the fire department to arrive as they will probably be adding to the 66 cooking-related fires they've already been called to this year.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.