The Kitchen is the leading area where home fires start (43%) and cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Most cooking fires are caused by people leaving their cooking appliances unattended. Cooking fires are responsible annually for an average of 162,400 home fires, resulting in 430 deaths, 5,400 civilian injuries, and causing $1,101 million in property damage.
Safety Tips to Reduce the Risk of Cooking Fires and Injuries:
- Make sure combustible items, such as rags, pot holders, curtains, and bags are kept far from the cooking surface. Do not store combustible items in the range storage drawer.
- Donít leave food cooking on the stovetop unless you are in the kitchen and keep a close eye on food cooking inside the oven. Double-check the kitchen before you go to bed or leave the house. Make sure all other appliances are turned off.
- Donít cook if you are drowsy or feeling the effects of alcohol, medication or other drugs.
- Roll up sleeves and donít wear loose-fitting clothing.
- Clean cooking equipment regularly to remove grease or cooking material that can ignite.
- Keep children and pets away from cooking areas by creating a three foot ďkid free zoneĒ around the stove.
- Turn pot handles inward to avoid spills. Always use a potholder when reaching for handles.
- Heat oil gradually to avoid getting burned from splattering grease. Use extra caution when preparing deep-fried foods.
- Never use the range or oven to heat your home. In addition to being a fire hazard, toxic fumes may leak into your home.
- If a fire breaks out while cooking:
- If the fire is small, put a lid on the pan or use baking soda to smother it, or use a fire extinguisher. Never throw water on a grease fire. Remember to turn off the burner.
- If the fire involves your clothing, stop, drop and roll until the fire is out.
- If the fire is rapidly growing, evacuate your home and call the Fire Department immediately. When in doubt, get out.
- Install a smoke alarm in every bedroom and on every level of your home. Test smoke alarms each month to ensure they are working and replace the batteries as needed. A working smoke alarm more than doubles one's chances of surviving a fire.
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