Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is urging Georgians this Thanksgiving to use caution when cooking and also when heating up those leftovers on the stove.
According to Hudgens, Georgia has had nine fatalities this year in which the cause of the fire was cooking-related, adding that over the years the state has seen many fires caused by a stove that has been accidentally left on.
Hudgens said to always set a timer when cooking so you never forget to turn off the burner or oven.
Also, he said if a pan catches fire, cover it with a lid immediately and turn off the burner, adding one should never attempt to fight a grease fire with water as it may make the fire worse. Also, for an oven fire, Hudgens reminded people to turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
Hudgens also said people should wear tight-fitting sleeves when cooking because loose clothing can contact a burner and ignite. If that were to happen, Hudgens said people need to remember to “stop, drop, and roll.”
Other tips from Hudgens include never using a cooking stove to heat a home, installing an adequate number of smoke alarms, having a fire extinguisher readily available and understand how to use it, and having a well-rehearsed family escape plan with a pre-determined meeting place outside the house to ensure everyone is out safely.
Finally, Hudgens said that if the fire is too large for an extinguisher, get out of the house and stay out and call the fire department.