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Independence MO Fire Department Offers Cooking Safety Tips

Cooking fires are the leading cause of residential fires and associated injuries across the nation.  The NFPA reported that during the years 2003 – 2006, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 150,200 cooking fires per year.  These fires cause annual average of 4,660 civilian injuries, 500 civilian deaths and $756 million in direct property Damage.  Unattended cooking was the leading contributing factor.  During the years 2007 – 2009, the Independence Fire Department responded to 86 residential cooking fires.

To help prevent cooking fires please follow these simple and effective tips:

  • Stay in the kitchen.  Unattended cooking is the primary cause of kitchen fire.
  • Wear clothes that fit.  Loose fitting clothing can catch fire.
  • Keep the stove and oven clean.  Grease and food build up can catch fire.
  • Have a 3 foot “no-go-zone” for children.  When they are older, teach fire safety.
  • Turn handle inward.  This will prevent spills and injuries.

In the event of a kitchen / cooking fire you should know what to do:

  • When in doubt, get out.  If you are unsure of your abilities, remove yourself from the home and call 911 from a safe phone.
  • Purchase a kitchen rated fire extinguisher.
  • For small fires, cover the item with a lid and turn off the heat source.
  • For oven fires, keep the door closed and turn off the heat source.
  • For microwave fires, keep the door closed and unplug it if possible.

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