Cooking is often a relaxing and fun task that brings family and friends together, but cooking is also the number one cause of home fires and injuries. Being mindful while you cook can go a long way to helping prevent these fires. Here is everything you need to know about cooking safely!
Cooking Fire Safety Facts
- Unattended cooking is the leading factor in home cooking fires.
- Ranges accounted for the largest share of home cooking fire incidents.
- Frying poses the greatest risk of fire.
- Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.
- 2/3 of home cooking fires started when food or other cooking materials caught fire.
Cooking and Fire Safety Tips
- If you Simmer, bake, or roast food, check it regularly to prevent fire. Use a timer to remind you.
- Turn pot handles towards the back of the stove. Bumping or pulling on overhanging handles can spill food or liquids and cause burns.
- Keep anything that can catch fire— oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packages, towel and curtains— away from your stovetop.
- Never leave your range or cooktop unattended while cooking. If you have to leave the room, turn your range or cooktop off.
- Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves. Loose clothing can hang down onto hot surfaces and can catch fire if it comes in contact with a gas flame or electric burner.
- Be sure to clean up any spilled or splattered grease. Built-up grease can catch fire in the oven or on the cooktop.
- Keep a fire extinguisher readily available. Having an extinguisher nearby is important, but you also need to have the correct type of extinguisher and know
- Never throw hot grease in the garbage as it can ignite combustible materials. Be sure to let grease cool and consider disposing it in an old can, such as a metal coffee can.
- Do not store food or other items in your oven. It can be easy to forget there is an item in your oven, and this could catch fire while preheating.
What to Do If a Cooking Fire Flares Up
By exercising caution in your kitchen, you can help reduce the risk of a kitchen fire. But if a fire does flare up, you need to be prepared.
- Your safety comes first. If you cannot safely extinguish the fire, leave the scene, call 911 for help, and let the fire department control the fire.
- If a small fire flares up and you are going to try to extinguish it, call 911 for help first. A fire may grow out of control more quickly than you anticipate. It is safer to have help already on the way.
- Smother a grease fire – never throw water on a grease fire. The water can be super-heated and change to steam, and can cause severe burns. Also, it can cause oil to splash up and spread the fire. If a grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by sliding the lid – while wearing an oven mitt – over the pan. If safe to do so, turn off the heat source. Do not move the pan; keep the lid on until the fire is out and the pan is completely cool.
- If a fire starts in your oven, keep the door closed and turn off the heat source. Keeping the door closed will help smother the flames. Do not open the door until the flames are completely out.
- If a fire starts in your microwave, turn off the microwave and do not open it until the fire is completely out. Unplug the microwave only if you can safely do so.