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Think Safety – Cooking Fire Safety Tips

November 26, 2011

Here are some safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), especially valuable during the upcoming holiday season. This time of year brings added home fire safety risk, and we want to share these tips so you and your family can enjoy a safe holiday.

Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, cooking was actually the cause of almost half (46 percent) of residential building fires in 2009, all which could have been avoided. Taking this a step further, unattended cooking equipment is the leading factor in the start of cooking fires.

Here are the safety tips:

Be alert – If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.

Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.

Do not wear loose fitting clothing while cooking.

The NFPA discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil.

If you have a cooking fire:

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 try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.

Keep a lid nearby when you are cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

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