June Cooking Safety

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Cooking can bring family and friends together, provide an outlet for creativity and can be relaxing. But did you know that cooking fires are the number one cause of household fires and injuries? By following a few safety tips you can prevent these fires.

Cook with caution:
- Be on alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, do not use the stove or stovetop.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly. Remain at home while food is cooking, and use a timer as a reminder.
- Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains.

If you decide to fight a small grease cooking fire, do the following:
- For stovetop fires, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

If you have any doubt about fighting a small fire, get out. When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from outside the home.

Have a “kid-free zone” at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

The leading cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking. Most of these fires involve the stovetop.

For more information, visit www.nfpa.org/education.