Cooking brings family and friends together, provides an outlet for creativity and can be relaxing. But did you know that cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries? According to the NFPA, almost half (44%) of reported home fires started in the kitchen. By following a few safety tips, you can help prevent these fires.
Cook with Caution
- Be on alert! If you are sleepy don't use the stove.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stove.
- Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves.
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
- Turn pot handles to the back of the stove to prevent spilling hot food or liquids.
If you have a small (grease) cooking fire and decide to fight the fire...
- On the stove, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
- Always have a fire extinguisher ready.
- Don't attempt to extinguish a fire if it is bigger than a waste paper basket.
If you have any doubt about extinguishing a small fire…
- Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Go to your family meeting spot.
- Call 9-1-1 using your cell phone or go to your neighbor’s house.
Additional Cooking Safety Tips