COLUMBIA (AP) — Columbia fire officials are reminding people to be safe as they prepare their Thanksgiving meals.


Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins said Thanksgiving is the leading day for cooking fires in the U.S., with an average of 155,000 cooking fires occurring each year.


National officials said cooking equipment fires are still the leading cause of U.S. home fires and fire injuries and the third leading cause of fire deaths.


If you’re planning to cook during the Thanksgiving holiday, Jenkins said never to leave food frying, grilling or broiling. And if a fire does occur, close the door, get out and call 911.


If you fry your Thanksgiving turkey, Jenkins said fryers should always be used outside, away from any buildings and should never be left unattended.


Officials issue cooking fire safety reminder