According to the NFPA, cooking was involved in an estimated 156,400 home structure fires that were reported to U.S. fire departments in 2010. These fires caused 420 deaths, 5,310 injuries and $993 million in direct property damage. Cooking caused 44% of reported home fires, 16% of home fire deaths, 40% of home fire injuries, and 15% of the direct property damage in 2010.
- Do not leave the kitchen while you are cooking.
- If you have to leave the kitchen, turn the stove off or take something like a spoon or oven mitt as reminder food is on the stove.
- Never cook if you are sleepy, intoxicated or heavily medicated.
- Turn all pot handles inward. Small children and animals can bump into them spilling hot substances and causing someone to be burned.
- Keep stovetops clean and clear. Keep all appliances free of grease buildup. Move items such as oven mitts away from heat sources.
- Keep children away from appliances when cooking. If older children are allowed to cook, teach them safe cooking practices and watch them carefully.
- Keep pets away from the stove.
- Wear short of tight fitting sleeves while cooking. Use caution when reaching over the stove for other items. Do not store flammable items above or behind the stove.
- Never stand in or near water while using an electrical appliance.
- Check regularly for frayed cords to appliances. Plug one appliance in an outlet at a time.
- Do not use defective appliances. Keep appliances properly maintained.
- Keep an ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher near the kitchen.
- Never put metallic materials in the microwave, sparks given off can result in a fire.
- Remember steam escaping from a pan or container can cause severe burns.
- Keep emergency numbers near the telephone.
- ALWAYS CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT FOR ANY FIRE, even if it has been extinguished.