We’re just hours of away from Thanksgiving, which means many families will be spending extra time in the kitchen cooking their favorite meals.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, unattended cooking during Thanksgiving is the leading cause of house fires.

Safety in the kitchen is important at all times but even more during thanksgiving day when there is a lot of activity and people at home.

Lieutenant Pablo Herrera with the McAllen Fire Department says that if you’re cooking, you should never leave the kitchen unattended.

“If you did have to step away momentarily for some reason, if you had to answer the door take something from the kitchen, that will remind you that you are cooking.”

He adds that cooking equipment can also cause a fire.

“A lot of it is especially with the turkeys that are left in the oven and they have a shallow pan and the grease spills over causing a lot of smoke causing a lot of panic and maybe a fire.”

The lieutenant says that the best thing to do is shut off the stove and call your local fire department for any further assistance.

“You never want to throw water on a fire. If you have a fire in a pan, the best thing to do is place the lid that goes on that pan, cover it up so it can smother the fire and turn off the stove top.”

Fire officials remind the community to have a safe and memorable Thanksgiving.