Cooking

Cooking fires are the number 1 cause of home fires. Unattended cooking in the kitchen is the leading cause. Following a few safety tips will ensure your safety when using the kitchen such as:

  • When simmering, baking or roasting be sure to use a timer and keep checking on your food.
  • Never leave the stove if you are grilling or frying food.
  • Watch what you are cooking: Fires start when the heat is too high. If you see any smoke or the grease starts to boil, turn the burner off.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Then no one can bump them or pull them over.
  • Keep a pan lid or baking sheet nearby: Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire.
  • Don’t cook when overly tired or under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
  • Never leave dishcloths, oven mitts, towels, food packaging, or curtains near the burners on a stove.
  • Have a “Child Free” zone about 3 feet wide near stoves and other hot cooking areas to keep children safe.
  • If a small grease fire happens on your stove, smother the flames with a pan lid and turn off the burner. Wait for it to cool.
  • If an oven fire happens, turn off the heat and close the oven door.

Grilling

Seven out of every 10 adults in the U.S. have a grill or smoker*, which translates to a lot of tasty meals. But it also means there’s an increased risk of home fires.

In 2014-2018, fire departments went to an annual average of 8,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, including 3,900 structure fires and 4,900 outside or unclassified fires

  • Charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction.

Exceptions:· 

  • One- and two-family dwellings.
  • Where buildings, balconies and decks are protected by an automatic sprinkler system.
  • LP-gas cooking devices having LP-gas container with a water capacity not greater than 21/2 pounds [nominal 1 pound (0.454 kg) LP-gas capacity].
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Videos from FEMA on How to Cook Safely in Your Home