Cooking Safety

Pan on Fire

Most home fires originate in the kitchen. Often these occur when people become distracted from the cooking process. Like all fires, these can spread rapidly, especially when oils or grease are involved. These situations leave you just minutes to escape safely. Here are some tips for safer cooking:

Maintain Awareness

  • Most kitchen fires occur because cooking is left unattended. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.
  • If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, boiling, baking or roasting food, check it regularly.
  • Remain home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on.

Stay Near Cooking

Not for Kids

  • Keep kids away from cooking areas and at least three from the stove.
  • When young children are in a home, use the stove's back burners whenever possible. Always rotate pot handles toward the rear to reduce the risk that hot contents will be knocked over.
  • Avoid holding small children while cooking.

Child Cooking Hazards

Keep it Neat and Clean

  • Keep combustible items such as pot holders, oven mitts, bags, towels, etc., away from your stove top.
  • Keep burners and the stove top clean and free of food and grease.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing while cooking, which is more likely to ignite if it comes in contact with a gas or electric burner.

Keep Stove Clean

Microwave Cautions

  • Never use an extension cord for a microwave oven as it can overload the circuit and cause a fire.
  • Use only microwave-safe containers to heat food.
  • Allow food to cool briefly before you remove it from the microwave.
  • Open microwave containers slowly to avoid burns from hot steam.
  • Microwave containers can be very hot so use caution when moving them to your table or counter.
  • Aluminum foil or metal objects in a microwave oven can cause a fire or burn hazard, and may damage your oven.


If you have a fire in an oven or microwave, turn it off immediately and keep the door closed until the fire is completely out.

Leave the flaming pan on the burner as carrying it can cause it to spill and spread the fire.

Keep an oven mitt and a large lid nearby so you can smother flames from small fires in pans. Don the mitt, pick up the lid, and carefully slide it over the pan. The turn off the burner. Keep the lid in place until the pan is completely cool to prevent it from re-igniting.

Lid and Glove

Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen close to the exit door in case of an emergency. Make sure that you know what type of fires the extinguisher is rated for and how it works before an emergency occurs.