Almost half of all home fires are cooking-related, according to a recent study by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). To reduce your risk of injury, follow these safety tips.
Between 2010 and 2014, cooking was the source of 46 percent of home fires (fires in single family and multi-family dwellings and apartments.) Each year, 5,540 people were injured many of whom suffered scald and burn injuries. Four hundred and eighty of them died of their injuries.
Ranges and Cooktops
Ranges or cooktops were the source of 62 percent of cooking fires and 88 percent of cooking-fire deaths. The contributing factor in most of these fires and deaths was unattended cooking, followed by discarded material, and combustible materials too close to the heat source.
Electric ranges had a higher risk of cooking fires than gas ranges. Eighty percent of ranges or cooktops involved in cooking fires were electric.
Frying and Boiling
Frying was the cooking method most frequently identified as the source of cooking fires. Two-thirds of them began when fat, grease or oil ignited during frying. Frying also accounted for 77 percent of cooking-fire injuries and 71 percent of deaths. Boiling was the source of most scalding injuries.
-Never leave the kitchen while, frying, broiling or grilling food.
-If you have to leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
-Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove.
-Wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves.
-When frying with oil, if you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells, immediately turn off the burner and/or carefully remove the pan from the burner. Smoke is a danger sign that the oil is too hot.
-Heat the oil slowly and add food gently so the oil does not splatter.
-Always keep a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Don’t throw water on the fire or use a fire extinguisher. Don’t remove the lid until the pan has completely cooled.
-If putting a lid on the pan does not extinguish the fire or you are too scared to try and cover the pan, get everyone out of the house and call 911.