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.