Be careful what you fry!

Thanksgiving is one of the best days in the country for fire cooking, and the American Red Cross of Northern New England encourages family cooks to follow simple steps to safely cook up the holiday feast.

“Residential fires are a real threat during the holiday season and represent the majority of our disaster response efforts in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine,” said John Montes, Regional Disaster Officer, Red Cross Northern New England Region. “Help keep your family safe by keeping an eye on what you’re frying, test your smoke detectors monthly, and practice your two-minute escape plan with everyone in your household.”

Follow these safety tips and visit for more information, including an escape plan to practice with your family. You can also download the free Red Cross Emergency and First Aid apps by searching “American Red Cross” in the app stores.

  • Never leave the food unattended. If you need to leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
  • Remove objects that can burn from the stove. This includes tea towels, bags, boxes, paper and curtains. Also, keep children and pets at least three feet away.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  • When deep frying food, turn off the burner if you see smoke or if the fat begins to boil. Carefully remove the pan from the stove.
  • Keep a pan lid or baking sheet nearby. Use it to cover the pan if it catches fire. This will extinguish the fire. Leave the pan covered until completely cool.

IF YOU NEED HELP If you cannot afford to purchase smoke alarms or are physically unable to install one, the Red Cross may be able to help. Visit or call 1-800-464-6692 (Option 4) to schedule your free installation appointment.

HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN SAVES LIVES Since October 2014, the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign and community partners have saved at least 1,414 lives — including 15 in the Northern New England area — by educating families about fire safety, helping them make escape plans and more than 1,414 lives to install 2.4 million free smoke detectors in high-risk neighborhoods across the country. Visit for more information.

The American Red Cross houses, feeds and comforts victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to carry out its mission. Visit for more information.