Cooking fires are the number 1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries. The majority of cooking equipment fires start with the ignition of common household items (i.e., wall coverings, paper or plastic bags, curtains, etc.).
- When cooking food on a stove top, never leave it unattended. Also, keep a close eye on food cooking inside the oven.
- Keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles (i.e., potholders, towels, rags, drapes and food packaging).
- Keep children and pets away from cooking areas by creating a 3-foot (1-meter) "kid-free zone" around the stove.
- Turn pot handles inward so they can't be bumped and children can't grab them.
- Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire.
- Never use a wet oven mitt, as it presents a scald danger if the moisture in the mitt is heated.
- Always keep a potholder, oven mitt and lid handy. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Don't remove the lid until it is completely cool. Never pour water on a grease fire and never discharge a fire extinguisher onto a pan fire, as it can spray or shoot burning grease around the kitchen, actually spreading the fire.
- If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing.
- If there is a microwave fire, keep the door closed and unplug the microwave. Call the fire department and make sure to have the oven serviced before you use it again. Food cooked in a microwave can be dangerously hot. Remove the lids or other coverings from microwaved food carefully to prevent steam burns.