Cooking Safety

Integrated Fire SystemsFire & Life Safety Updates

Do You Use the Necessary Safety Precautions When Cooking?

Food is an important part of life as nearly 2/3 of American homes cook at least one meal a day. Not only does cooking provide us with food to eat, but it is the act of cooking and eating that creates a social and creative communal outlet for many families and friends.

Cooking Fire Statistics

NFPA reports that “with an average of 455 daily fires, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries”. On average, fire departments respond to 166,100 home fires involving cooking equipment each year.

According to NFPA 3 out of every 5 reported home fires involving cooking equipment were started by ranges or cook-tops. 13% of reported home fires involving cooking equipment were started by ovens.

The chance of fire while cooking significantly rises when the cooking equipment is left unattended. 33% of home fires involving cooking equipment were started from unattended cooking. Unattended cooking is also responsible for 46% of the related injuries and 49% of the related deaths involving cooking equipment.

NFPA states that, “adults age 65 or over face a high risk of cooking fires deaths that other age groups”. Also, people of any age have more of a risk of injury when they attempt to fight the fire themselves.

Safety Tips

It is important to always make sure that you are attentive when using cooking equipment. For your safety NFPA recommends the following while cooking:

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, boiling, 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, or roasting 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.

If a small grease fire starts while you are cooking NFPA recommends:

  • On the stovetop, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

If a small fire occurs while you are cooking and you are unsure as to how to extinguish it, NFPA recommends:

  • 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 from outside the home.

When cooking you should create a kid-free zone. NFPA recommends that you should have a clearance area of “at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food and drink is prepared or carried”.

For more information on cooking safety check out some of our previous blog posts:

-The IFS Team