During the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, millions of us are under stay-at-home orders and practicing social distancing. And for many of us, this means more time in the kitchen cooking meals.
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Moreover, unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires, and a Red Cross survey shows that roughly 70 percent of people have left the kitchen while cooking.
The good news is that kitchen fires can be prevented by following these simple safety tips:
IF A COOKING FIRE OCCURS If a pan catches fire, don’t move it. Slide a pan lid or cookie sheet on top of the pan to put out the fire. Turn off the heat. Keep the lid on the pan until it is completely cooled. Never try to stop a grease or oil fire with water — it will fuel the fire.
If something catches fire in the oven, keep the door closed. Call 911 so firefighters can make sure the fire didn’t spread to the walls. If a fire occurs in the microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the microwave if you can. Don’t use it again until a repairman checks it.
If the kitchen catches fire, make sure everyone gets out and meets at your household’s designated meeting spot. Once outside, call 911 and stay out. Never go back inside a burning building.
GRILLING SAFETY Now that spring has arrived, many people cook family meals on the backyard grill. Because grilling fires spark more than 10,000 home fires on average every year, follow these safety tips:
TEST SMOKE ALARMS AND PRACTICE YOUR TWO-MINUTE DRILL Working smoke alarms can cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half and having a home fire escape plan further increases the odds of survival. In fact, fire experts say that you have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late.
Learn more about home fire safety and preparedness.
FIND COVID-19 SAFETY UPDATES Visit redcross.org/coronavirus for more information on COVID-19 safety. For the latest information, please visit the CDC website at cdc.gov/covid19. If you live outside the United States, health and safety tips can be found through the World Health Organization and by following your local Red Cross or Red Crescent society’s social media channels (directory).
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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