NEW YORK, OCTOBER 3, 2023 — During Fire Prevention Week (October 8-14), the American Red Cross, Greater New York, reminds everyone that cooking is the leading nationwide cause of home fires and issues safety steps to follow to help avoid one of these blazes.
“Cooking brings family and friends together, but this normal, everyday activity can also lead to disaster,” said Celena Sarillo, Interim CEO for the Red Cross in Greater New York. “In fact, cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. — and the top reason for cooking fires is someone leaving the stove unattended while cooking. To help keep your loved ones safe, it’s important to stay in the kitchen while you’re cooking.”
Follow these 10 steps to help stay safe while cooking:
- If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, never leave it unattended — stay in the kitchen. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- Don’t wear loose clothing or sleeves that dangle while cooking.
- If you’re simmering, baking, roasting or broiling food, check it regularly.
- Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.
- Keep kids and pets away from the cooking area. Make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch fire — potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
- Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
- Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off.
- 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 if your smoke alarm requires it.
If you cannot afford to purchase smoke alarms or are physically unable to install one, the Red Cross may be able to help. To sign up for a smoke alarm installation appointment, or to volunteer with the Home Fire Campaign, visit www.soundthealarm.org/gny.
Download the Red Cross First Aid app for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. Find all of the Red Cross apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN SAVES LIVES Since October 2014, the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, working with community partners, has saved at least 1,928 lives by educating families about fire safety, helping them create escape plans and installing free smoke alarms in high-risk areas across the country. To learn more about the campaign and how you can get involved, visit redcross.org/homefires.
RED CROSS SUPPORTERS The American Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its critical mission. Proceeds raised will enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people affected by disasters like hurricanes, home fires, and countless other crises. The Red Cross of Greater New York would like to thank the following supporters:
Annual Disaster Giving Program Members
American Express, Citi Foundation, Fox Corporation, PepsiCo Foundation, Mastercard, The Pfizer Foundation
Disaster Responder Members
Assurant, Barclays, Equitable, Macys Inc., MetLife Foundation, Major League Baseball, Tata Consultancy Services
Ascena Foundation, BNY Mellon, Breakthru Beverage Group, Casual Home Worldwide, Con Edison, Credit Suisse, Americas Foundation, Equitable, FDNY Foundation, Global Industrial, H&M, KIND Snacks, KPMG, Lemonade Insurance, L'Oréal USA, LVMH Inc., Marsh McLennan, Medidata Solutions, MetLife Foundation, Morgan Stanley, National Grid – GNY, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, Northwell Health, Paramount Global, Paramount Group, Proskauer, PSEG Long Island, SMBC Global Foundation Inc., Sony, State Farm, The Estee Lauder Companies, The QBE Foundation, Thomson Reuters, Tradeweb, UBS, U.S. Bank, Warner Bros. Discovery, Weil Gotshal & Manges, Wells Fargo
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.