Cooking continues to be the most common cause of home fires and home fire-related injuries.
Whether preparing for a family dinner or a quick snack, practising safe cooking behaviours can help keep you and your family safe.
- 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.
- Check your food regularly while cooking.
- Use a timer so you'll remember that the stove or oven is on.
- Stay alert. If you're sleepy, fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it's best to avoid cooking.
- Wear short, close-fitting or tightly-rolled sleeves while cooking. Loose clothing can hang down, make contact with hot surfaces and catch fire.
- 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.
- Keep your cooking area free of anything that can catch fire, such as food wrappers, pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels or curtains.
- Built-up grease can catch fire in the oven or on the stove top. Clean your stove's cooking surfaces regularly to prevent grease buildup.
- Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Having an extinguisher nearby is important, but you also need to have the correct type and know how to use it properly.
- Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home to make sure the stove/oven and all small appliances are turned off.
- Never throw hot grease in the garbage as it can cause a fire. Be sure to let it cool and dispose of it in an empty can.
What to do if a cooking fire flares up:
If a grease fire starts in a pan:
- Smother the flames by sliding the lid over the pan. Be sure to wear an oven mitt. If safe to do so, turn off the heat source.
- If you are unable to slide the lid over the pan and turn off the stove, toss baking soda onto the flames.
- Never use water to put out grease or oil fires. It can cause oil to splatter and spread the fire.
- Do not move the pan, and keep the lid on until the fire is out and let the pan completely cool.
If a fire starts in your oven:
- Keep the door closed and turn off the oven. Keeping the door closed will help smother the flames. Do not open the door until the flames are completely out.
If a fire starts in your microwave:
- Turn off the microwave and do not open the door until the fire is completely out.
- Unplug the microwave if you can safely do so.