Top 10 Cooking Safety Tips

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. It is also the leading cause of home fire injuries. Educate yourself now on fire prevention and what to do if a fire does occur.

  1. Store kitchen items such as dishtowels, paper towels, potholders, wooden spoons, plastic utensils and food items away from stove and cook-top burners.
  2. When cooking, wear appropriate clothing, such as short or tight-fitting sleeves and tight-fitting shirts, robes, gowns, etc.
  3. When using the stove or range, turn on the exhaust fan while cooking. Be sure to clean the vent filters regularly.
  4. Don’t leave spoons or other utensils in pots while cooking.

    WHN TIP: You and Your Spoon

    While cooking, hold a spoon or spatula in your hand until you're done. This reminds you that you're in the middle of preparing something on the stove should you attempt to multitask (i.e. answer the phone or door, leave the room, watch TV).

  5. Don’t leave food cooking on stovetops unattended. If you do decide to leave the room, take a portable timer or watch with you to remind you when to check on your food. If you choose to use a timer in your kitchen, make sure you can hear it in other areas in your home.
  6. Keep pot handles inward, out of reach. Teach children to stay three feet away from the stove while you're cooking.
  7. Use caution when using woks and deep-fryers. The large amount of hot oil can cause serious burns and dangerous grease fires.
  8. Have a large oven mitt and a lid handy to smother small pan fires.
  9. If a fire should occur, use a fire extinguisher or suffocate it with a pot/pan lid or a cookie sheet, or close the oven door. Then turn off the burner.

    WHN TIP: Never water and grease!

    Never pour water on grease fires. These may cause the fire to get larger or create an explosion.

  10. When you're finished with appliances, turn them off and unplug them. Clean stove, oven and microwave after cooking to prevent grease fires.

    WHN TIP: Self cleaning ovens still need some cleaning...

    "Self-cleaning" does not mean you do not have to clean your oven! Be sure to clean out the food debris and grease from inside your oven.

Updated: 5/2009