Home Cooking Safety
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the United States with most home cooking fires and injuries the result of unattended cooking. Never leave cooking unattended. If grease catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames and turn off the burner.
Cooking Safely Prevents Fires
- Always keep an eye on food being heated. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the heat. If the phone rings or something else requires you to leave the kitchen momentarily when cooking, take a pot holder or wooden spoon with you as a reminder to get back to the kitchen quickly.
- Keep young children away from appliances when cooking. Enforce a 3-foot kid-free-zone around the range and teach youngsters not to play in that area. If you allow older children to cook, supervise them closely and teach them safe cooking practices.
- Dress appropriately for cooking. Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking and use caution when working near heat sources.
- Try not to reach or lean over the stove. You can avoid this by not storing items you use directly over or behind the stovetop.
- Provide plenty of quality, fire-resistant pot holders and oven mitts for the cooks in your household. Select heavy, fire-retardant oven mitts that nearly reach the elbow to protect your entire forearm from heat.
- Turn handles inward so pots and pans won’t be pulled or knocked off the stove.
- Keep the stove-top clean and clear. Store things that can catch fire; like pot holders or wooden utensils, away from heat sources.
- Keep food or grease form building up by cleaning often.
- Monitor hot oil carefully and heat it slowly, keeping the pan lid close at hand. Guard against splattering grease and know what to do in case a grease fire occurs.
- Use caution with electrical appliances. Plug one appliance into an outlet at a time. Have appliances with frayed or cracked cords repaired before using. Never stand in or near water when using electrical appliances. Unplug countertop appliances when not in use.
- Always have pot holders and lids ready when cooking. You may need them if you experience a small pan fire.