Prevent Kitchen Fires: Top 10 Cooking Safety Tips

by Susan Evans

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

In this video, Edina, MN Fire Marshall Tom Jenson explains the features and uses of four different types of fire extinguishers to help you decide what extinguisher is right for you.

Not sure how to use a fire extinguisher? This video shows you how.

  1. Store kitchen items such as dishtowels, paper towels, potholders, wooden spoons, plastic utensils and food items away from the stove and cooktop 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.
  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.
  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 – Don’t Mix! Never mix water and grease or pour water on grease fires. These may cause the fire to get larger or create an explosion.

WHN TIP – Still Needs Cleaned! “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.

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).

Just in case: This video provides tips and techniques for creating a home escape plan!

Photo Credit: Gaelle Marcel

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