Prevent Fires Caused by Cooking

Prevent Fires Caused by Cooking

Prevent Fires Caused by Cooking: 

  • Be alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen, don't leave cooking food unattended (Stand by your pan!).
  • If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Wear short or tight fitting sleeves. (Long loose sleeves are more likely to catch on fire or get caught on pot handles).
  • Don't become distracted. The most common distractions are attending to children, answering phone calls, watching television, and answering doorbells.
  • Enforce a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around your stove. Turn pot handles inward facing the wall to prevent burns caused by overturning or spills.
  • Keep the area around the stove clear of towels, papers, pot holders, curtains, food packaging, wooden utensils, or anything that could burn.
  • Cook at indicated temperatures settings rather than higher settings.
  • Clean your cooking equipment so that there are no cooking materials, food items or grease accumulation.
  • Have a pot lid handy to smother a pan fire. Do not attempt to pick up the pot or pan. Shut off the heat and cover the fire with a lid. Do not use water. It will cause splashing and spread the fire.
  • Use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.


If You Have a Cooking Fire:

  • Get out, and close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 911 immediately after you leave. Do not delay—even for minor fires, and allow the fire department to make sure the fire is completely out.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • If you can safely reach the controls, turn off the heat, then slide a pan lid over the flames to smother a grease or oil fire. Leave the lid in place until the pan cools.
  • Never carry the pan outside. Never move the pan to the counter or sink.
  • Water and grease fires do not mix!
  • Baking soda may be used to extinguish a small fire, but never use water or flour.
  • For oven or broiler fires, keep the oven door shut. Turn off the heat.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on hand. Read and understand the directions before you need it.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you're cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

Microwave Oven Safety:

Microwave ovens are one of the leading home products associated with scald burn injuries not related to fires.

  • One in every six (18%) of microwave oven home structure fires cited appliance housing or casing as the item first ignited.
  • Nearly half (45%) of the microwave oven injuries seen at emergency rooms in 2009 were scalds.
  • Thirty-one percent of the scald burns and 14% of all microwave oven related injuries were scald burns incurred by children under five years of age; 

Outdoor Cooking:

  • Everyone enjoys the time we spend around our barbecues and grills with our families and friends. They are a big part of our summer. To ensure that these times remain enjoyable, please observe the following tips:
  • No grills may be placed or used on apartment balconies.
  • Grills must be located at least 10 feet from any structure or combustible material.
  • Never use a grill inside a closed space. They produce large quantities of carbon monoxide, a poison invisible and odorless gas that can rapidly cause death or serious illness.
  • Make sure that your grill is level and steady.
  • Grills must be constantly monitored until extinguished and cold.
  • The safest means of lighting a grill are cake-formed chemicals or an electric starter.
  • Never add liquid fire starter to hot coals. Heat from the coals could cause the starter to ignite, resulting in serious burns.
  • Keep a hose or fire extinguisher close by.
  • Keep small children and pets away from your grill.
  • When finished cooking, soak the coals in water. Dispose of them in a sealed metal container outside the home. Do not store them on a wooden deck. Many fires start from ashes that are improperly disposed of.

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