Cooking Fires

Cooking Fire Safety Tips

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries, with stove fires dominating this problem. Most cooking fires are caused by peoples' behaviors, not appliance failures. The main causes of cooking fires include:
  • Leaving food cooking on the stovetop unattended.
  • Leaving burners or ovens on after cooking.
  • Placing combustible materials too close to heat sources.
  • Wearing loose-fitting sleeves near hot burners.

Stove and Oven Safety

  • Keep an eye on all food being heated.
  • Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves near hot burners and avoid reaching over hot surfaces.
  • When using an electric stove, use a burner that is the right size for the pan. Using a burner that is too large can cause the pan and its contents to heat too quickly, leading to boil-overs, scorching and burning.
  • When using a gas stove, keep the burner flame entirely under the pan.
  • Fill pots to the proper level and heat food at the indicated temperature to prevent boil-overs. Do not increase temperature to shorten the cooking time.
  • Create a kid-free zone of 3 feet around the stove, and supervise older children as they cook.
  • Keep the stovetop, oven and range hood free of grease and spills that can catch fire.
  • Keep potholders, wooden utensils and other combustibles away from hot burners.

Stop Grease Fires Safely

Take extra care when frying or deep frying food or when cooking with oils, lard, butter or other grease products. If a grease fire occurs, remember to:
  • Turn off the burner, if you can do so safely.
  • Put a lid on the pan.
  • Or toss baking soda on the flames.
  • Leave the house and call 911 if you can't put out the fire quickly and safely.
Using a fire extinguisher or water on a grease fire could cause the hot oil to splatter and spread the fire.
1Reproduced with permission from the NFPA web site, copyright © 2015, National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, MA. All rights reserved.

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