GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) - October is Fire Prevention Month and "Prevent Kitchen Fires" is this year's message. Cooking brings family and friends together, provides an outlet for creativity and can be relaxing. But did you know that cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries?
According to the National Fire Protection Association, unattended cooking was a factor in 34% of reported home cooking fires and 2/3 of home cooking fires started with ignition of food or other cooking materials on the stovetop.
Microwave ovens are one of the leading home products associated with scald burn injuries not related to fires. Nearly half of the microwave oven injuries seen at emergency rooms in 2011 across the country were scald burns.
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, don't use the stove or stovetop.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you 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.
- Have a "kid-free zone" of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
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 to alert the local fire department
- If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and 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.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
If you have any questions about fire safety, please feel free to contact your local fire department.
by Firefighter Michael McLeieer - E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety
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