JOPLIN, Mo. — For those of you staying home this long holiday weekend, cooking, perhaps decorating, be aware of some risks.

“My dad decided to make a big flat churro and plopped it in there, but apparently the steam will build inside the churro and it exploded so there was grease everywhere,” said Melia Bowen, Carthage.

Quick thinking kept a potential grease fire from spreading.

But Melia Bowen adds her family is now more aware of the risks.

“You have to be safe when you’re cooking in the kitchen with grease with fires,” said Bowen.

And holiday cooking is just one of the dangers you could face to avoid with Thanksgiving here and Christmas around the corner.

“It’s always the worst time you know, with people on with the holidays and family coming in and you know, it just couldn’t be a worse time to have a fire than during holidays,” said Dave Holden, Joplin Emerg. Mgr.

Joplin and Jasper County Emergency Management Coordinator Dave Holden says a little prevention ahead of time goes a long way.

It’s everything from unattended candles to overloaded Christmas lights.

The National Fire Protection Association says more than a third of home decoration fires are started by candles.

But there can also be issues with live Christmas trees that dry out, wiring that’s exposed or damaged, or connecting too many electric decorations at a single spot.

“A lot of the cheaply made extension cords that are used and get overloaded this time of year with the holidays. You know people put a lot of stuff for Christmas decorations and stuff on. And we recommend you use a power strip that will actually have a breaker in it so it would trip it instead of going into your outlet,” said Holden.

Make sure you water a live Christmas tree every day and inspect all wiring for Christmas lights and other decorations before putting it up for the season.