House Fires involving cooking equipment are the leading cause of home fire injuries, and also account for the majority of unreported fires occurring in the home. The principle cause of these fires is cooking that is left unattended.
If you do have a pan fire on your stovetop, turn the burner off and attempt to slide the lid over the pan. Never pour water on a grease fire, as the great difference in the temperatures of the two will create a violent reaction.
Here are a few recommendations that may help you to prevent fires and burns in the kitchen:
- ALWAYS call 911 to notify the fire department of your fire! Every second counts - if you are not able to control the fire a firefighting crew will already be on the way.
- Teach your children about the hazards that are present while food is being prepared on the stovetop or in the oven. Don't allow play in the kitchen while cooking is in progress.
- Never leave food that is being cooked unattended.
- Keep pot handles turned toward the back of the stove, and use potholders.
- Secure loose sleeves, or wear short-sleeved garments while cooking.
- Keep an approved fire extinguisher easily accessible.
- Be aware of the types of containers that are not suitable for us in microwave cooking, and take care when removing coverings from foods heated in the microwave (burns may occur from escaping steam).
- Keep all areas on and around your stove free of flammable objects such as tea towels, potholders, papers, etc.
- The use of tablecloths and place mats may be hazardous when toddlers are present in your home. The children may pull a hot or heavy item off a tabletop and onto themselves.
- Inform baby-sitters of kitchen safety rules.
- Don't allow the cords of appliances such as coffee pots or crock-pots to dangle over the edge of the counter.
If you have a question on fire safety, call the Ouachita Parish Fire Department's Fire Prevention Bureau at (318) 325-1621 Ext 3008.