Cooking fires have become the leading cause of house fires today. It also is the #1 cause of home fire injuries due to victims trying to fight the fire themselves. Here are some safety cooking tips on how to avoid cooking fires.
Never Leave Cooking Unattended
Leaving food cooking unattended either on the stove, oven, or broiler is the most common occurrence of cooking fires. If you have to leave the kitchen for any reason you should always turn off the oven, broiler, and the stove. It is also a great precaution to remove any pots and pans from the heat.
Loose clothing, flowing sleeves, and even aprons can catch fire while cooking. If you must wear an apron make sure it is a well fitted apron.
Keep away flammable objects
Many things can easily catch fire if near a hot burner. Oven mitts, food packaging, towels, paper or plastic items, etc. Always remove any flammable items away from the stove top, or any other appliance in the kitchen that produces heat.
You should always have a fire extinguisher handy in case a fire does break out. If you have never used one most fire departments will assist you on how to properly use one in case of an emergency.
Grease/Oil are a common flammable substance that is used a lot in cooking. Weather we are cooking food with it, or the food we are cooking produces it, grease and fire are a dangerous combination. Always make sure the stove is cleaned regularly of grease. Never cook oil/grease at a temp higher than their smoking point(450 degrees for oil, 375 degrees for lard/fat). Even if the grease isn't on fire always wait for it to cool before disposing of the grease.
You should always do a double check of the kitchen either once your done cooking, before bed, or leaving your home. Always make sure the stove, oven, broiler, and any appliances in the kitchen are all shut off.
You should always be prepared to put out a fire if one happens. If it occurs in a pan of pot you should carefully smother it with a tight fitting lid. Never use water to put out a grease/oil fire. Lastly flour does not put out a fire flour can actually burn, and it makes a huge mess if you attempt it.
Practicing fire precautions are a big must for safety when it comes to you and your family. Always make sure smoke detectors are working properly, and have fresh batteries. always come up with a plan with the family and children in case a fire breaks out. Also always remember to stop, drop, and roll if clothing catches on fire. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to home fires.