While you’re spending time with family and friends this Christmas, keep track of your cooking.

The Gravenhurst Fire Department says careless cooking is the number one cause of fires in Ontario and the second leading cause of fatal blazes. Fire Chief Larry Brassard says distraction isn’t the only issue when a kitchen fire starts.

“All too often, these fires are started by unattended cooking and in many cases, alcohol is involved.”

Brassard says if you’re cooking up a big family meal for Christmas or anytime this holiday season, leave the booze out of the equation until you’re done in the kitchen.

If you’re in the kitchen and a blaze sparks up on the stove don’t try to move it. Officials say, if it’s in a pot, try to smother it with the lid and turn off the burner. Or, use a fire extinguisher, which should be nearby.

Brassard is also reminding smokers to be mindful of stray butts in and around the home. Make sure you’re using a deep ashtray and never use a potted plant or garbage can to get rid of your butt.

He says ashes from trays, fireplaces and wood stove ovens should always be emptied into a metal container outdoors, even if it doesn’t seem like they’re active.

Finally, if you haven’t tested them recently, check to make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are working properly. Ontario law states the devices should be installed on each level of the home.