Here are some tips to prevent cooking fires in your home. The NFPA National Fire Protection Association http://www.nfpa.org says that one out of three home fires is caused by cooking incidents. They state that over 100,000 fires a year are started by cooking accidents.
I hope these tips will prevent you from being one of the statistics added up next year.
1- Stay in the kitchen if you’re frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food. It’s very easy to become distracted and or have to deal with one of the kids while cooking. It only takes a few seconds for a fire to start while you’re away. If you leave for “just a minute” than can easily stretch into 10 minutes. If you DO leave while cooking, cut the stove or oven off. If you’re roasting simmering or baking food, check it often and use a timer.
2- Keep all your cooking areas and the area around the stove or microwave clean. Do not leave anything combustible near the stove. Towels, curtains, rags, potholders and food packages can all catch fire and make a small fire bigger.
3- Keep all children at least 3 feet from the stove. Enforce this rule and make it stick. Even if they don’t start a fire, they can pull something off the stove onto themselves causing a bad burn. A hot stove eye can also give a very nasty burn.
4- If you have a fire in the microwave don’t open the door. Turn off the Microwave and let the fire go out. If you’re not sure it will, call the fire department.
5- If you have a small grease fire start in a pan, take a pan lid and cover the flame while wearing an oven mitt. Turn off the stove eye and slide the pan to another eye. Make sure the fire is really out by not removing the lid until the pan cools.
6- Never put water onto a grease fire, it will make the fire spread all the more.
7- If the oven catches on fire, keep the door closed and cut off the oven. If you open the door, the air rushing in feeds the fire and can make it leap out onto you. I had this happen to me a few years ago. It didn’t occur to me to cut the power off to the oven, until I called my uncle for advice and he pointed out the correct thing to do. All that mistake cost me was the price of a new oven.
8- Be aware of how fast a fire can spread and if it starts getting bigger, get out of the house and make sure everyone else is out and call the fire department. People die every year trying to fight “Small” fires that get big quickly.
9- Keep pets out of the kitchen if at all possible. A cat tends to jump and climb and they can and have knocked something off a stove. Keeping them out will prevent fires and also prevent injury to them. A large dog can also knock stuff off the stove.
10- If you have a pot or a pan on the stove, turn the handle away from the front of the stove. If the handle is hanging out in front of it, somebody walking by can walk into it and snag it off the stove. That is more burn prevention than fire prevention but it’s still a good thing to practice.