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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Top Safety Tips to Avoid Cooking Fires

12/5/2022 (Permalink)

Pot in flames Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires.

Tips To Keep Yourself Safe While Cooking

Cooking is one of the great joys in life. But, it can also be dangerous if you’re not careful. Whether you’re using a stovetop, an oven/microwave oven/toaster oven/air fryer/instant pot etc. or even just keeping food warm on the stovetop, here are some tips to keep yourself safe while cooking:

1. Watch your cooking.

When you are cooking, don’t leave the kitchen. If you must leave, turn off the stove and unplug it from its power source. Don't cook when you're tired or have had alcohol (or drugs) before starting to prepare food. Don't leave small children alone in the kitchen while you're preparing food.

2. Keep things that can burn away from your stovetop.

The second tip is to keep things that can burn away from your stovetop. Keep pots, pans, towels, paper towels, prepared or raw food (that isn’t currently cooking), and kids away from the stovetop.

3. Clean up cooking messes right away.

You should always clean up cooking messes right away. If left on the stove, grease fires can be hard to extinguish and are very dangerous. You should also have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and a smoke alarm that is in good working order.

4. Be alert! 

You wouldn't drive a car if you were sleepy, drunk, or distracted, so why cook? It's important to be alert when using your stove. If you're feeling tired, it might be best to wait until later in the day when you are more awake and alert.

It's also a good idea to avoid cooking when you have consumed alcohol because it can affect your judgment and ability to operate safely while cooking.

5. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.

The kitchen is the place where you should be when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for a minute to check on your kids or answer a phone call, turn off the stove before you go. Leaving an open flame unattended is very dangerous and could lead to fires or even explosions.

6. If you have young children, use the stove’s back burners whenever possible.

If you have small children, it’s important to keep them as safe as possible. One way to do this is to use the back burners whenever possible. They are farther away from the edge of the stove and therefore safer than front burners.

Stove burners are generally easier for young children to reach because they are closer to their height. However, front-facing burners have a higher risk of tipping over when touched or bumped by a child. This can lead to spills and fires if not cleaned up quickly enough. If you must use front-facing burners for cooking purposes, be sure that your child has been properly supervised at all times while cooking with them in order to avoid potential accidents.

7. Keep pot handles turned inward on the stovetop.

Using pot handles that are turned inward on the stovetop is another way to prevent spills and avoid burns. If you drop a pot, it has a better chance of not spilling if the handle faces inwards, rather than outwards. Make sure that your cookware doesn't have sharp edges or points, which can cause injury if someone bumps into them.

To avoid potential fire hazards with your cooking utensils, make sure all items are stored neatly in designated spots (not scattered across countertops) and that they have no cracks or chips in their surfaces that could allow grease or other liquids to leak out onto hot surfaces:

8. Keep knives and other sharp objects out of the reach of children.

If you have small children in your home, it's important to keep knives out of their sight and reach. Try placing them in a drawer or on a high shelf where they can't be easily accessed without an adult's assistance. Similarly, never leave knives lying around on countertops or in sinks; if you're using one while cooking and need to put it down for some reason, place it back into its holder or put it away before doing anything else! Finally, never leave sharp objects such as screwdrivers and scissors unattended- even for just a second because someone could get hurt by accidentally bumping into them while performing another task (or trying to grab something from the sink).

9. Store matches and lighters out of reach of children – preferably in a locked cabinet.

One of the most common causes of fires in homes is the improper use of lighters and matches. The best way to reduce this risk is to store them out of reach, preferably in a locked cabinet. Keep in mind that some lighter fluid may be toxic if ingested, so keep it stored away from children even if you have an unopened bottle.

10. Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you’re cooking anything.

If you see smoke coming out of your kitchen, immediately turn off all sources of heat (stovetop burners, electric burners). If there are flames, do not attempt to put out a grease fire with water! Instead, use baking soda or flour to smother the flames. Then call 911.

Cooking is a fun and rewarding pastime, but it can also be dangerous if you’re not careful. Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and injuries in the United States according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In fact, cooking-related fires result in an estimated 2,500 deaths and 12,500 injuries each year. So what can we do to avoid these types of accidents? The best way is to follow our ten tips above – they include simple things like keeping your stovetop clean and making sure that you always have an oven mitt handy when working around hot oil or other flammable liquids. Plus there are a few more tips like always keeping young children away from knives!

If your East Naples, FL home experiences a fire from cooking, SERVPRO of East Naples is here to help! Give us a call!

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