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Cook Safely: Here’s How to Prevent Cooking Fires

Every time you prepare a home-cooked meal, you’re taking a risk. An errant dishtowel on a stovetop or a frying pan set ablaze could easily ignite a house fire.

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries, so take the following precautions when you’re in the kitchen.

Find Reasons to Stay in the Kitchen

Unattended cooking is the No. 1 cause of kitchen fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. It’s tempting to go to another room while food bakes in the over or simmers on the stovetop, but try to stay put.

Use this time to attend to other tasks that will keep you in the kitchen, such as packing tomorrow’s lunch, doing the dishes, or taking inventory of ingredients.

If you have to leave the kitchen, turn off the stove and place the pan somewhere safe.

Test Your Smoke Detector

When is the last time you changed the batteries in your smoke detector? Try to replace them twice a year and test it periodically to ensure that it’s working properly. To check your smoke detector, press the test button on the unit until the alarm sounds.

Use Caution with Grease

Grease fires flare up in an instant. Heat grease and oils slowly to the desired temperature, then place your food gently onto the pan. In the event of a grease fire, do not -- we repeat -- do not dump water over it. This will cause the burning oil to splash and set other combustibles on fire.

If the frying pan catches on fire, place a lid on the pan to smother the flames. No lid? Use a baking sheet as a back-up.

Fire in the Stove? Don’t Open the Door!

If your broiled salmon suddenly goes up in flames, keep the stove door closed, turn off the appliance and back away. Opening the door will feed the fire what it craves: oxygen. That will turn a small food fire into a hazardous situation. With the door closed, the fire will eventually die down.


Bottom line: For many of us, cooking is an everyday routine. It’s easy to get complacent, but a little extra caution in the kitchen will go a long way towards keeping your home and family safe. If your kitchen suffers smoke or fire damage, depend on Cut N Dry Restoration to restore your home. To schedule an appointment, call (909) 829-5002.