Cooking Safety Tips

Cooking can be an absolute joy or chore depending on your interests.  But as it is an activity that can not be avoided, it is important to know that cooking fires are the #1 cause of fires in the home and #1 cause of home injuries.  To keep cooking enjoyable, or at least make it tolerable depending on your point-of-view, here are a few safety tips to prevent a kitchen fire.

Cook with Care

  • If you are cooking on the stove, do not leave the kitchen.  This is especially true if frying, grilling or broiling as a slight distraction in another room may not just ruin your meal, it could lead to a devastating fire.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly and use a timer to keep you on task.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire- oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, curtains, cook books, cords, etc. away from your stove top.
  • Keep alert!  If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol in excess, don't use the stove or stove top.
  • Have a kid-free zone of at least three feet around the stove and where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

If You Have a Cooking Fire

  • Keep a lid nearby when you are cooking to smother a small grease fire.  Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop.  Leave the pan covered until completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • Call 9-1-1 and get out of the house.
  • If leaving the house and waiting for the fire department, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.

Source of information: NFPA Public Education Division.