The American Red Cross urges residents to take extra precautions with cooking and decorating around the holidays. “Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, and as people are cooking, entertaining, and stringing lights this holiday season, we’re urging that they take safety measures to ensure that their homes and loved ones are safe from the threat of fire,” says Phil Hansen, Regional Chapter Executive of the American Red Cross Northern Minnesota Region. Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving are the top three days for cooking fires, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Nationally, the Red Cross responds to a disaster on average every eight minutes, and the vast majority of them are home fires. For more information visit the Red Cross website at www.redcross.org.