Cooking Safety

According to the NFPA, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires have started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials. In just few minutes, a small cooking fire can completely engulf a house in flames.


The Facts

  • Cooking equipment fires are the leading cause of home structure fires and associated civilian injuries. These fires accounted for 40% of all reported home structure fires and 36% of home civilian injuries.
  • Cooking equipment was involved in two of every five (41%) reported home fires.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in these fires.
  • Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but these incidents accounted for 15% of the cooking fire deaths.
  • Ranges accounted for the largest share (59%) of home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 16%.
  • Three of every five (59%) reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
  • Frying poses the greatest risk of fire.
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.


Safety Tips

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that ;you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire—oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains—away from your stovetop.


If You Have a Cooking Fire

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 after you leave.
  • If you do try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and that you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. Remember, attempting to fight grease fires with water will only spread the grease and the flames.
  • In the event of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

Information reproduced from the NFPA website.