7 Things You Can Do To Help Prevent Cooking Fires
According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), cooking fires are the leading cause of house fires and will affect 1 out of every 8 homes each year. Unattended cooking is the most common cause of cooking fires and subsequently it is also the most common cause of fire damage to homes. So during this holiday season, when cooking and food is on everyone’s mind, let’s remember these few tips to help keep our families and homes safe!
Top 7 Recommendations
- Watch What You Heat - Stay in the kitchen at all times when food is cooking. If you have to leave the kitchen turn the stove off (even if it is just for a minute)!
- Stay Alert - Check the cooking regularly (you don’t want to burn the stuffing anyway) and use a timer to let you know when the food is done cooking or when it needs to be checked.
- Keep Flammable Items Away from Heat - Move anything that can catch fire away from the stove top (this should include pot holders, oven mitts, dish rags, towels, and curtains)! Also try to wear clothing that fits closely, rolls up tightly, or has short sleeves.
- Know What to Do If You Have a Cooking Fire - This could be the most important thing to remember! Many people die every year in house fires and knowing what to do in case of a fire emergency could save both your family and yourself! If you are ever in doubt of what to do, the best thing to do is to get out of the house or apartment. When leaving, try to close the door behind you to contain the fire. Call 911 or local emergency number after leaving the house or apartment.
Keep Children Away from Cooking Areas – Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet from major cooking appliances and never carry or hold a child when transporting hot food or liquids.
Install and Use Cooking Appliances Safely – Always use cooking appliances that have been approved by a recognized testing facility and be sure to follow manufacturer’s recommendations and building code requirements when installing a new cooking unit. Also, never use extension cords for cooking appliances as it can overload the circuit and cause and electrical fire.
Have Working Smoke Alarms – This is critical! These handy devices and be the difference in life and death so make sure to test them once a month and replace batteries as necessary!
- For small grease fires in a pan on a stove, keep an oven mitt and a lid that fits the pan nearby. Wear an oven mitt and smother the fire by placing the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner, and do not move the pan. Let the lid remain on the pan until the pot has completely cooled!