Cooking equipment, most often a range or stovetop, is the leading cause of reported home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Cooking equipment is also the leading cause of unreported fires and associated injuries. So whether you are cooking the family holiday dinner or a simple meal for one, it’s important to practice safe cooking behaviors.
Most cooking and fire safety advice is common sense, but it’s often forgotten, especially when you’re under pressure or in a hurry. Basic safety tips include —
1) Be prepared. Have working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in the kitchen or wherever you’re cooking.
2) Choose the right equipment, and use it properly. Follow manufacturers’ instructions when operating cooking equipment.
3) Watch what you Heat. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. If you’re frying, grilling or broiling food, stay in the kitchen. If you’re baking or simmering, check food frequently.
4) Keep things that can catch fire away from heat sources. This means keeping anything that can catch fire away from your cooktop or open oven and wearing short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
5) Create a 3 foot “Kid Free Zone” around the stove/oven. Young children should be at least 3 feet from any place where there is hot food, drinks, pans, or trays.
The video below (from the NBC “Today” show and the Home Safety Council) demonstrates kitchen fire safety techniques and is worth a watch.
At Siegfried & Jensen, we’ve seen too many lives disrupted or destroyed by burn injuries that could have been easily prevented. We encourage you to learn more about cooking and kitchen fire safety. FEMA, Safe Kids, USA, the Home Safety Council, and the NFPA are great places to start.