Learning Center

Kitchen Fire Safety Tips

woman basting holiday turkey

Make fire prevention a key ingredient of your holiday recipes.

Cooking continues to be the most common cause of residential blazes, according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) - and the numbers tend to spike around the holidays, when families gather for large meals and tasty treats.

Help keep your holidays happy and your family fed by following these USFA fire prevention tips.

Exercise kitchen caution

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the room even temporarily, turn off the stove.

  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly, remain at home and use a timer.

  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop. This includes potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels and curtains.

  • Keep your stovetop, burners and oven clean.

  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire if it comes into contact with a gas flame or electric burner.

  • Plug microwave ovens and other cooking appliances directly into an outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance; it can overload the circuit and cause a fire.

If you have a cooking fire . . .

  • When in doubt, just get out. When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.

  • If you do try to fight the fire, be sure others are already getting out and you have a clear path to the exit.

  • Always keep an oven mitt and a lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. (Make sure you are wearing the oven mitt.) Turn off the burner. Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool.

  • In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothing.

  • If a fire starts in your microwave, turn the appliance off immediately and keep the door closed. Never open the door until the fire is completely out. Unplug the appliance if you can safely reach the outlet.

  • After a fire, both ovens and microwaves should be checked or serviced before being used again.

By exercising some simple culinary caution, you can help keep your family safe, your home intact and your taste buds satisfied.

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