Preventing Cooking Fires
Unattended cooking is the number one cause of home fires in the U.S. Three in every 10 reported home fires start in the kitchen - more than any other place in the home. Keep an eye on your cooking, and watch children closely in the kitchen.
Fire officials offer these important tips:
- Clean cooking surfaces to prevent food and grease buildup.
- Don't cook if you're under the influence of alcohol, taking a medication that causes drowsiness, or fatigued.
- Keep curtains, towels and potholders away from hot surfaces.
- Do not wear loose-fitting clothing that could catch fire; wear short or tight-fitting sleeves.
If a cooking fire occurs:
- Call 911.
- If the fire is a grease or oil fire, slide a lid over the flames to smother them, then turn off the heat and leave the lid in place until the pan cools.
- Extinguish other food fires with baking soda; never use water or flour.
- Keep the oven door shut, and turn off the heat to smother an oven or broiler fire.
- Keep your smoke alarms in working order.
To prevent a microwave oven fire, never put anything metallic in the microwave. If a fire occurs, keep the microwave oven's door closed and unplug it.
Detailed information about preventing cooking fires is available through the National Fire Prevention Association.
Revised April 24, 2014