by In The Know

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries. Hundreds of people are killed every year by a kitchen fire. To stay safe in any kitchen, follow these guidelines:
  • •Keep cooking areas clean and uncluttered. A dirty oven or stove top may contain “leftover” grease which can catch fire.
  • •Never leave the room when food is cooking on the stove top or in the oven.
  • •Get in the habit of turning a burner off before you remove the pot or pan.
  • •Did you know that an electric burner can reach a temperature of 1000 degrees or more? This means it can catch clothing on fire even after it’s been turned off.
  • •Don’t wear long, loose sleeves that might hang over the stove while you’re cooking. People have been known to set themselves on fire this way-with both electric and gas ranges. (If your clothing does catch fire, remember to stop, drop and roll!)
  • •Never pour water on flaming fat or oil-you’ll spread the fire. If the fire’s inside a pan, slap on the lid. If out outside, turn off the heat and douse the flames by tossing on a handful of baking soda or salt.
  • •If the fire is inside the oven, turn the oven off and close the door tightly. This should smother the fire.
  • •Never try to carry a burning pot or pan to the kitchen sink or outdoors.
  • •A fire extinguisher should be available in every kitchen. If you know how to use one, grab it and put out the fire!
  • •If the flames don’t go out right away or you suspect the fire may be smoldering somewhere in the cabinets or woodwork, don’t hesitate to call the fire department.
  • •If anything catches fire in a microwave, keep the door closed and turn off or unplug the microwave. (opening the door allows oxygen to “feed” the fire. ) Don’t use the oven again until it has been checked out bay a serviceman.
  • •Be careful not to overload the electrical outlets in a kitchen. Unplug appliances-like toasters and coffee makers- when you’re not using them.
  • •If and appliance doesn’t work properly or smells funny when in use, have a family member look at it.
  • •Wipe up any spills promptly- whether they are on appliances, the stove top or oven.