January 24, 2017 |
Use Caution and Common Sense in the Kitchen to Prevent Fire
Did you know that cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home
injuries year after year? On average, an estimated 164,500 cooking fires
in residential buildings occur annually in the United States resulting
in an average of 110 deaths, 3,525 injuries, and $309 million in
property loss. By using a little common sense and taking some basic
safety precautions, you can make sure your next home-cooked meal is
prepared without going up in flames.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
Cooking equipment was the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries.
Cooking equipment caused 46% of home fires, 19% of the home fire deaths and 44% of the injuries.
Two-thirds of home cooking fires started when food or other cooking materials caught fire.
Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires.
Clothing ignitions led to 18% of the home cooking fire deaths.
Ranges or cooktops accounted for the 62% of home cooking fire incidents; ovens accounted for 16%.
Frying poses the greatest risk of cooking fire.
42% of people surveyed said they left the kitchen to talk or text on the phone
35% left to use the computer or check email while the food was cooking
45%, or nearly half, left the room to watch TV or listen to music
Keep an eye on what you fry and be extra careful when cooking with oils
Stand by your pan when frying, grilling, simmering, broiling or broiling food
Keep the stove top and oven clean at all times
Keep towels, dish cloths and other flammable items away from hot surfaces
Turn pot handles towards the back of the stove
Wear short sleeves or roll up your sleeves
Keep a pan lid or cookie sheet nearby to cover the pan if it catches on fire
Don't leave the kitchen equipment unattended when turned on
Double check to ensure burners are turned off when not in use
Unplug the toaster and other countertop appliances when not in use
Check food frequently when cooking and set a timer as a reminder
Keep working batteries in your smoke detector at all times
Never plug appliances in using an extension cord
Have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of fire
Source: National Fire Protection Association
Homes include one- and two-family homes, apartments (regardless of ownership), and manufactured housing.