The holidays — the most dangerous time of the year.

Police officers and firefighters around the country are on high alert with the hustle and bustle of the holidays and Harker Heights emergency services are no exception.

“Thanksgiving is the most heavily traveled time of the year,” Police Chief Mike Gentry said.

“We encourage people to plan their routes in advance, looking for alternate routes to avoid interstate congestion and to not press their time limits.”

Gentry said travelers should plan to leave earlier than they think they need to and to make sure their vehicles have cell phone chargers in case assistance is needed.

When it comes to the actual holiday meal, a popular method of preparing Tom the Turkey is via a deep fryer.

“Although delicious, it’s a fairly dangerous proposition if you don’t know what you are doing,” Fire Marshall Brad Alley said.

Alley said unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in home cooking fires last year.

“Home cooking fires occur more on Thanksgiving than any other day,” he said. “When people are working near the stove they should roll up their sleeves and have a lid nearby in case they need to smother something relatively fast. Never use water on a grease fire.”

For more holiday safety tips, go to

Contact Vanessa Lynch at or 254-501-7567.

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