Did you know that cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires in the United States? With families spending more time at home, and with the holidays here, the risk for cooking fires is greater than ever before. This holiday season, we would like to leave you with some important cooking safety tips. Scroll on to learn more.
How Do Cooking Fires Happen?
Cooking fires happen most often when food is left cooking unattended. Always stay in your kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling or boiling something. Don't stray far if you are simmering, cooking or roasting food and be sure to check it often.
How to Extinguish a Grease Fire
Grease fires are one of the most common types of kitchen fires we see, and like any fire, they can quickly grow in size. If you have a grease fire, put a lid on it. Keep your pan covered until it has cooled. You can even use a cookie sheet if you don't have a lid handy. Never pour water on a grease fire, it will only cause the fire to grow.
Additional Cooking Safety Tips
- Check the area around your stovetop before cooking to make sure there aren't any items nearby that can burn like a dish towel or oven mitts. Double check your oven too in case there is leftover food or pans sitting inside.
- Keep pets and kids at least three feet away from your oven, stove and other areas where you prepare hot food and beverages.
- Turn pan handles inward to prevent them from being bumped or knocked over.
- Watch your sleeves! Keep your sleeves tightly rolled when cooking, especially near a stovetop.
- Always have a fire extinguisher near your kitchen, along an exit path. Only use an extinguisher if the fire is small and contained. Click here for fire extinguisher best practices.
Have a Home Fire Escape Plan
It is important to have a home fire escape plan. In just two minutes' time, a fire can grow out of control. Everyone in the home should know two exits out of each room and where your family meeting place is outside. If a fire grows or there is smoke, go outside, stay outside and call 911. Make sure you have working smoke detectors in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
Have You Checked Your Smoke Detectors?
Smoke detectors cut the risk of dying in a fire by half. You should have working smoke detectors in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Test them once each month, change your batteries twice each year and completely replace your smoke alarms every ten years.
Plan Your Escape
In a house fire, you may have as little as two minutes to safely escape. It is important that your family has a plan. Everyone should know two exits out of each room and where your family meeting place is. Get started today.