The never-ending winter weather is keeping a lot of people stuck inside and that means more of us spending time in the kitchen cooking.
Did you know the kitchen is where more home fires occur than anywhere else in the house and that cooking is the number one cause of home fires? The American Red Cross has steps everyone can follow to avoid a cooking fire:
1. Never leave cooking food unattended – stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen, even for a second, turn off the stove.
2. Check your food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking.
3. Use a timer so you’ll remember that the stove or oven is on.
4. Don’t wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
5. Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
6. Keep anything that can catch fire - pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
7. Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
8. Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.]
9. Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
10. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.
To learn how to prevent a fire in your home and how to keep members of your household safe, you can take our cooking safety quiz and download the Red Cross Fire Prevention and Safety Checklist. Downloadable fact sheets are also available on how to avoid home heating fires, candle safety, proper use of smoke alarms and teaching your children what to do in the event of a fire