In 1999, 30% of the Gurnee Fire Department residential fire calls were in response to kitchen fires resulting from cooking, causing a loss of $24,180. Most of these fires could have been prevented by following the basic fire safety tips listed below:
Never Leave Cooking Unattended
Never leave food cooking on your stove or in your oven when you leave home, and stay in the kitchen whenever anything is cooking. Turn off stoves and appliances promptly when you're finished using them.
Keep Appliances Clean
Built-up grease catches fire easily. Wipe appliance surfaces after spills and clean stove surfaces and ovens regularly.
Keep Flammable Objects Clear of the Stove
- Pot-holders, dish towels, and curtains catch fire easily. Keep such items a safe distance from your stove.
- DON'T OVERLOAD ELECTRICAL OUTLETS. Plugging to many appliances into the same outlet can cause a fire.
- NEVER USE APPLIANCES WITH FRAYED CORDS. Damaged or frayed electrical cords can cause electrical shock and catch fire.
Heat Oil Slowly
Heat oil slowly over moderate heat and never leave hot oil unattended.
Do not attempt to cook if you have been drinking alcohol or are drowsy.
Wear Close-Fitting Sleeves
Loose sleeves can dangle too close to hot stove burners and catch fire. Protect yourself by wearing sleeves that fit snuggly or by rolling up your sleeves securely when you cook. Don't store things on or above your stove. Clothing can catch fire when you lean over stove burners to reach shelves.
Smother a Grease Fire
If a pan of food catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan and turn off your stove burner. Leave the lid on until completely cool. (Pouring water on or discharging a fire extinguisher at a pan of burning grease could spread the fire.) If a fire starts in your oven, close the oven door and turn off the heat source. If the flames do not go out immediately, call the fire department.
Close the door on microwave fires. If anything catches fire in your microwave, keep the door closed and turn off or unplug the microwave.