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Avoid cooking up a disaster this holiday season

Submitted by South Metro Fire Rescue

Roasting, baking, candy-making?  Here are safety steps worth taking!

Cooking is a holiday tradition…and a leading cause of residential fires in the United States. In fact, hundreds of thousands of them each year. Cooking is also a major cause of burn injuries to children.

Many of those fires and burns are due to careless actions in the kitchen, or people who take the wrong action during a fire.

Most cooking fires originate at the stove or oven because cooks stop paying attention, leave the room while food is cooking, place combustibles too close to burners, or fail to turn off the stove after the food is done.
Once a fire breaks out, research shows that many people make potentially fatal errors, like putting water on a grease fire or carrying a burning pan to the sink or outside.

The South Metro Fire Rescue Authority hopes you’ll follow these simple rules so our firefighters and paramedics don’t become unexpected holiday visitors at your home.

First and most important, don’t leave cooking unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, carry a spoon or something else to remind yourself you have food on the stove.

Have a tight-fitting lid handy for the pan you’re using. The best way to extinguish a grease fire is to put a tight lid on the pan and turn off the stove. Don’t move the burning pan. (NEVER use water on a grease fire – it can literally explode, spreading fire and hot grease throughout the kitchen.)

Don’t move burning pots or pans – you increase the chance of burns and spilling the flaming contents can spread the fire.

Have a fire extinguisher nearby and learn how to use it before there’s a fire.
Keep ovens, grease traps, and grills clean to prevent fires in built-up grease.

Prevent hot spills by turning panhandles away from the counter edge and stove tops.

Alcohol use is a factor in many cooking fires, and contributes to 40 percent of fire fatalities. If you’ve had too much to drink, maybe it’s a good idea to order in.

With these simple precautions, you can significantly reduce the chance for a kitchen fires and burns.



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