Fires resulting from cooking continue to be the most common type of fire experienced in United States households. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire injuries. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the most common cause of cooking fires is due to unattended cooking. Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking. If you have to leave, turn off the stove top or oven.
According to Champaign Fire Chief Gary Ludwig, keeping your cooking area clean and clear is of paramount importance. Ensure that all potholders, towels, wooden utensils, plastic bags, food packaging, or curtains are away from the stovetop. Keep the stove top free from grease and items that could be knocked on to a burner. Do not cook while wearing loose clothing that could come in contact with stove top burners.
We would encourage you to choose carryout or delivery from a restaurant rather than cooking when you get home after a night out. Another leading cause of kitchen fires is often falling asleep after putting the food on.
Protect your children. Keep children away from the cooking areas to prevent scalds and burns. Enforce a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove. Give your children a landmark on the floor so that they know they can not go closer to the stove. Do not hold a child while cooking or carrying hot food or liquids.
As always, be sure to have working smoke alarms installed in your home. Test them monthly and keep them equipped with fresh batteries at all times. Plan and practice a home fire escape plan with two ways out of every room and have a designated outside meeting place.