Cooking caused 42% of reported home fires,15% of home fire deaths, 37% of home fire injuries and 11% of direct property damage in 2010, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Preventing Kitchen Fires
- Always wear close-fitting clothing with short or tightly rolled sleeves. Always tie back long hair and refrain from using flammable hair products.
- Keep hot pads, oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging and towels away from any heat source.
- Never leave your cooking unattended. If you need to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off all heat sources.
- Use the lowest heat setting possible that will cook food thoroughly and safely.
- Do not place metal or foil in a microwave oven; it will cause sparking and can lead to a fire.
- If you notice sparks, turn off the microwave immediately and unplug it.
When You’re Done Cooking
- Check burners, ovens and appliances to make sure they are off before leaving.
- Clean up all spills.
- Unplug portable appliances when they are not in use.
- Always keep the vent-hood fan on while cooking on a range.
- Clean up spills, grease and messes on the range and in the oven immediately.
- Exercise caution when lighting ovens with gas ranges that do not have a self-lighting feature.
In the Event of a Fire
Turn off the gas or electricity fueling the fire if you can do so safely. If the fire is in a pan on the range, turn off the appliance and cover the pan with a lid to smother the flames. Make sure you are wearing an oven mitt. To keep the fire from restarting, do not move the pan, and leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool. When these methods do not work:
- Use a fire extinguisher, baking soda or a fire blanket to put out the fire.
- Sprinkle the baking soda on top of the pan.
Spray the fire extinguisher in a sweeping motion while standing at least three feet away from the flames.