Kitchen Fire Safety

Unattended cooking continues to be the number one cause of fire in Apex and throughout the country. Every year more people are injured and killed in fires in the home. Cooking fires cause the most injuries by far. Here are a few safety tips to keep you and your family from being a fire statistic.

Grease Fires

If you are cooking with oil or grease and it ignites, do not throw water on the fire. Do not attempt to remove the pan. Instead, do the following:

  • Turn the burner off if you can reach it safely.
  • Smother the fire with a pan lid.
  • If a chemical extinguisher is near and you know how to use it, use the extinguisher to put out the fire.
  • If that does not work, evacuate the house and call 911.

General Kitchen Safety Tips

  • Always keep an eye on food being heated. Do not leave the kitchen while you are cooking.
  • If you have to leave the kitchen, turn the stove off or take something like a spoon or oven mitt to remind yourself of the food on the stove.
  • Pay attention! Never cook if you are sleepy, intoxicated, or heavily medicated.
  • Remember to turn all pot handles inward. Small children and animals can easily bump a pot handle spilling hot grease or boiling water, causing someone to be burned or start a fire.
  • Keep the stove top clean and clear. Keep all appliances free of grease buildup. Wipe up spills and routinely clean the oven. Move combustible items such as oven mitts and utensils away from heat sources.
  • Keep children away from appliances when cooking. Create a "kid-free zone" around the stove, and teach children not to play in that area. If you allow older children to cook, supervise them closely and teach them safe cooking practices.
  • Keep pets away from the stove.
  • Dress appropriately for cooking. Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Use caution when working near heat sources.
  • Try not to reach over the stove for other items. Do not store items above or behind the stove that are combustible or may cause you to burn yourself as you reach for them.
  • Carefully monitor hot oil, keeping the pan lid close at hand.
  • Be careful around the sink while using electrical appliances. Electrical appliances near water could cause electrocution. Never stand in or near water while using an electrical appliance.
  • Check regularly for frayed or damaged cords to appliances. Plug one appliance in a receptacle at a time. If you need to plug more appliances into a receptacle than there are plugs, use a surge protector or have a professional electrician install more receptacles.
  • Keep appliances in proper working order. Do not use them if they are defective.
  • Keep appliance cords as short as possible. This helps to keep from tripping or knocking the appliance over.
  • Keep an ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher near the kitchen.
  • If you have a fire in your microwave oven, do not open the door. Close the door to the microwave if you do open it and unplug it immediately. Do not use the microwave again until a professional has checked it.
  • Never put metallic materials in the microwave oven. These materials cause sparks, which may result in a fire.
  • Remember that steam escaping from a pan or container can cause severe burns. Open food that has been cooked in the microwave carefully.
  • Keep your emergency numbers near the telephone.
  • Always call the fire department for any fire, even if the fire has been completely extinguished.
  • Have a fire evacuation plan and practice it with your family!