Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. This has been a troubling truth for over a decade. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking related fires and deaths. We are busier and more distracted than ever, so the probability of a cooking fire remains high. We must all be vigilant. We need to know and practice effective actions that will prevent most cooking fires and burns. Here are important reminders and resources.
What you should know about home cooking safety
Be alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, drugs or medications that cause drowsiness, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen 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 stovetop.
When cooking, wear short or tightly-rolled or close-fitting sleeves.
Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around hot surfaces and hot items.
Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby counters.
If you have a cooking fire
Get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
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.
For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
Plug microwaves directly into an outlet. Do not use with an extension cord.
Open heated items slowly and away from your face to prevent scalds from escaping steam.
Just like in an oven, if you have a fire in your microwave, immediately turn it off and leave the door closed until the fire is completely out.
If you receive a burn
Any burn requires immediate attention. Run the area under cool water for 3-5 minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. If the burn is bigger than your fist, or if you have any questions regarding care, seek medical attention right away.