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Thanksgiving top holiday for cooking fires

CBS' Bradley Blackburn has some suggestions for a tasty, and safe, holiday

(CBS News) - There are more cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Last year, Thanksgiving Day turned tragic in New Bedford, when more than two dozen people were left homeless, after fire spread through a building. Officials say it was caused when someone tried to deep-fry a turkey.

"You can't underestimate the danger of cooking," said New Bedford, Massachusetts Fire Chief Scott Kruger.

Nikki Fleming with the Consumer Product Safety Commission says, on average, 1,700 cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving – that’s three times more than any other day of the year. According to the CPSC, deep-frying a frozen turkey can create massive flames.

“Make sure you start with a thoroughly thawed turkey, and never overfill or overheat the oil in that turkey fryer," Fleming says. "If you're using a turkey fryer, make sure you use that outside of the home - that means not in your garage, not on the porch.”

Stove fires are also very common. Firefighters say it's important to never douse the flames with water. Instead, place another pan on top to extinguish the fire.

Fleming says, it's also important to keep children away from the stove, “because kids can reach up and get a handle, pull something hot down on themselves so, again, make sure you're supervising your kids around any kind of cooking that's going on during the holiday season."

Experts say, never leave a stove unattended, because cooking accidents are the number-one cause of fires in the home. It's also important to keep potholders, paper towels and even loose clothing away from the burners and oven.

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