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ROSEMEAD, Calif., Nov. 21, 2013 — Thanksgiving Day is usually full of food, family and football. Southern California Edison (SCE) reminds its customers to add safety to the list since cooking fires are three times more likely on Turkey Day than any other day, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Cooking equipment, overloaded circuits and extension cords are leading causes of electrical accidents and home fires during the holiday season, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. About 2,000 fires occur annually in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day, causing an average of five fatalities, 15 injuries and $21 million in property damage, said the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA).

“An increase in indoor activities combined with cooking and entertaining family and friends can cause many customers to forget basic home safety,” said Bill Messner, principal manager of Health and Safety at SCE. “Safety should never take a holiday.”

The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking, said the USFA. Never leave cooking equipment or appliances, such as toaster ovens, unattended. Turn them off if you leave the room. Another key precaution is to check for the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) mark on appliances. UL is the leading independent product safety organization and is a trusted symbol among consumers and manufacturers.

SCE recommends some other safety tips for Thanksgiving:

  • Plug countertop appliances into Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)-protected outlets.
  • Replace appliances that have frayed electrical cords. Contact with them can cause electric shock and serious injury.
  • When using electrical appliances, keep electric cords out of reach of children.
  • Do not overload outlets with multiple adaptors or power strips.
  • Do not use extension cords with major appliances.
  • Unplug appliances that aren’t in use, preventing them from being turned on accidentally.
  • Locate all appliances away from the sink. Remember that water and electricity do not mix.
  • Never fight an electrical or grease fire with water. Keep a fire extinguisher, UL listed and rated for electrical fires and grease, nearby.

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About Southern California Edison

An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.