Fire departments and the American Red Cross urge people to be careful about fires during Thanksgiving, especially in the kitchen.

“The kitchen is the place where family and friends love to gather in south Louisiana, but it is also the setting of more fires than any other room in the house,” according to a news release from the Red Cross Louisiana Capital Area Chapter.

“Never leave cooking food unattended; stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove,” the news release says.

The St. George Fire Department echoed those warnings. District spokesman Eldon LeDoux, in a news release, said there are more house fires on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year and most of those are from people not paying attention to what they’re cooking.

Other tips include turning pot handles in and away from the reach of children, not overloading electri cal outlets and making sure cooking appliances are in good working order.

More information is available at www.stgeorgefire.com or www.batonrouge.redcross.org.