Fire Prevention in the Kitchen
Prevent kitchen fires by following these safety tips.
Never Leave Cooking Unattended
Stay in the kitchen when you cook and never leave home when a stove burner, oven, or microwave is on.
Keep Appliances Clean
Wipe up spills from stove and counter surfaces. Built-up grease can catch fire. Clean your oven regularly.
Clean Up Clutter
Pot holders, dish towels, and food packaging catch fire easily. Keep your cooking surfaces clear. And keep curtains and flammable decorations a safe distance from your stove.
Keep Kids and Pets Away
Enforce a "kid-free zone" 3 feet around your kitchen stove, and keep pets from underfoot when you're cooking.
Avoid Overloading Electrical Outlets
Heat-producing appliances - such as toasters coffeemakers, waffle irons, and electric frying pans - use a lot of electrical current. Avoid overloading circuits. Never plug more than one such appliance into an outlet and never use two or more appliances that are powered by the same circuit at the same time. Overloaded circuits get hot and could cause a short or a fire.
Keep your heat-producing appliances away from walls and curtains. Replace damaged electrical cords and plugs immediately, and always unplug appliances when they're not in use. Never leave a detachable appliance cord plugged into an outlet when it's not attached to the appliance.
If an electrical appliance gets wet inside, have it serviced before using it again.
Watch Your Sleeves
Loose sleeves can dangle into stove burners and catch fire. Wear clothing with snug, or rolled up, sleeves when you cook. Don't store things on or above your stove; your clothing could catch fire when you lean over burners to reach them.
Turn Pot Handles In
A pot handle sticking out over the edge of the stove can be bumped or grabbed by a child. Prevent burns and stove-top fires by turning handles in toward the center of the stove.
Heat Oil Slowly
Heat oil over moderate heat and don't leave it for a second.
Don't cook if you've been drinking alcohol or are drowsy from medication or fatigue.
Microwaves stay cool, but the food you cook in them gets very hot. Use pot holders to remove food from microwaves and remove covers from microwave food carefully to prevent steam burns.
Keep the inside of your microwave clean.
Smother a Grease Fire
Keep a large lid, large enough to cover any pan, near your stove. If a pan of food catches fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. This smothers the fire. Leave the lid in place until the pan is completely cool. Don't peek; lifting the lid lets in oxygen and the fire may reignite. Never dump water or use a portable fire extinguisher on a grease fire. The grease will splatter and the fire could spread.
If a fire starts in your oven, close the oven door and turn off the heat. If the flames don't go out, call the fire department.
Microwave Oven Fires
If something catches fire inside the microwave, keep the oven door closed and turn off or unplug the microwave. Opening the door will only feed oxygen to the fire. Don't use the oven again until it's been serviced.