In this Beloit Daily News File Photo, Townview Elementary Fifth Grade students and staff look on as the Town of Beloit Fire Department demonstrates the dangers of grease fires ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

BELOIT—As families in the Stateline Area prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Beloit Fire Department wants to remind residents to take the necessary steps to prevent cooking fires and enjoy the holiday safely.

Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Christmas Day and Christmas Eve ranked second and third, with both having nearly twice the daily average. In 2019, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,400 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving. Cooking caused about half (49%) of all reported home fires and more than two of every five (42%) home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths (20%) in 2015-2019, NFPA data shows.

A popular way of cooking a Thanksgiving turkey in recent years is by deep frying. Beloit Fire Acting Lt. Mike Cullen said the department asks residents to keep all deep frying operations outdoors and away from garages, decks and flammable material with at least two feet between the propane tank and burner.

In the home, Cullen said residents need to keep an eye on the stovetop and keep children away from the stove.

Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.

“We hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving,” Cullen said.

Below are a summary of cooking safety tips from the NFPA:

• Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.

• Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.

• Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.

• Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.

• Keep knives out of the reach of children.

• Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.

• Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children—up high in a locked cabinet.

• Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.

• Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button