Cooking is often a relaxing and fun task that brings family and friends together, and it provides a great way to showcase your creativity and love of good food. But cooking is also the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. Being mindful while you cook, however, can go a long way to helping prevent these fires.
Here’s what you need to know!
- Be alert when cooking—Keep things that can catch fire away from cooking area
- Stand by your pan—Keep an eye on what you fry
- Wear short sleeves or roll your sleeves up
- Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove
- Keep a pan lid or cook sheet nearby to cover the pan if it catches fire
Cooking fires by the numbers
Based on 2007-2011 annual averages:
- Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in these fires.
- Two-thirds (67%) of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
- Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but these incidents accounted for 15% of the cooking fire deaths.
- Ranges accounted for the largest share (57%) of home cooking fire incidents; ovens accounted for 16%.
- More than half (55%) of reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
- Frying poses the greatest risk of fire.
- Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.
If you have a cooking fire
- Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Dial 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.