Did you know that the leading cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking, usually on the stovetop?
In an effort to raise awareness that cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries, Chancellor Volunteer Fire & Rescue (CVFR) offers the following 10 tips for cooking with caution in the kitchen this holiday season:
- It's best not to use the stove or stovetop if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol.
- Have a "kid-free zone" of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling food; if you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- Check food that is cooking regularly and use a timer to remind you that cooking is taking place.
- Keep anything that can catch fire—oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towel, curtains, etc.—away from the stovetop.
- Quickly smother small grease fires with a lid. Slide the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it has completely cooled.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
- For anything beyond a small grease fire on the stovetop or a small oven fire, get everyone out of the house and call 9-1-1 after you have exited the home.
- Identify two exits out of the house in an emergency and keep these exits clear of furniture and clutter.
- Be sure to have a working smoke alarm and a handy fire extinguisher.
"Cooking is a fun activity to do with family and friends, but it's important for everyone to stay safe while preparing meals," says Kevin Dillard, administrative chief of CVFR.