Cooking Safety

Kitchen fires are the most common fire in the home. Often these fires occur when people fail to pay attention to what's cooking. Like all fires, cooking fires spread quickly, leaving you just minutes to escape safely. Here are some tips for safer cooking:

Keep and Eye Open

  • 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.

Not for Kids

  • Keep kids away from cooking areas, at least 3 feet around the stove.
  • When young children are in a home, use stove back burners whenever possible, and turn pot handles back to reduce the risk that pots with hot contents will be knocked over.
  • Never hold a small child while cooking.

Keep it Neat and Clean

  • Keep anything that can catch fire, like pot holders, oven mitts, bags, towels, etc., away from your stove top.
  • Clean burners and stove top clean and of food and grease.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing while cooking. Loose clothing can catch fire if it comes in contact with a gas or electric burner.

Microwave Cautions

  • Never use and extension cord for a microwave oven, 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 - 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.
Never forget how dangerous fire can be. If you are unable to put out a fire, get out of the home and call the fire department. When in doubt, get out!

If you have a fire in an oven or microwave, turn it off immediately and keep the door closed. Keep the door closed until the fire is completely out to prevent fire spread and the possibility of burns to those nearby. Unplug a microwave if food is burning inside, only if you can safely reach the outlet !

Keeping an oven mitt and a lid nearby when you're cooking is a good idea so you can smother flames from small fires in pans. Carefully slide the lid over the pan (make sure you are wearing the oven mitt) and turn off the burner. Don't remove the lid until the pan is completely cool to prevent it from re-igniting. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of an emergency. Make sure that you know what type of fire the extinguisher will put out and how it works before an emergency occurs.

As always, we encourage you to install and test smoke alarms ! ! !
Fire can grow and spread quickly - working smoke alarms in your home can mean the difference between life and death !

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