Thanksgiving is the leading day for residential cooking fires in the U.S., with an estimated 4,300 of them occurring each year nationwide.

The Columbia Fire Department responded to eight of those fires during the past five years.

Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers where the turkey is immersed in hot oil.

He says those can lead to devastating burns, other injuries and the destruction of property.

And the chief reminds those planning to cook indoors to be attentive in the kitchen; never leave food frying, grilling or broiling even for a short period of time; keep flammable materials away from the stove top and don't wear loose-fitting clothing while cooking.