FEBRUARY WEEK 3
KITCHEN FIRE SAFETY
How often has the doorbell rung or a child interrupted you while you were cooking causing you to forget about the chicken you left sizzling on the stove – until smoke filled the house? This is an all too often occurrence nationwide. Latest statistics from NFPA say that two out of every five home fires started in the kitchen and more than 150,000 fires a year are related to cooking. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is
unattended cooking. Fire departments and burn centers alike can attest to the devastation that can stem from unattended cooking. Often when fire departments are called to a cooking-related fire, the residents inform them that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes. Sadly, that’s all it takes to go from routine to disaster.
Prevent Cooking Fires
· To prevent cooking fires, you must be alert. You will not be alert if you are sleepy, have
consumed alcohol, or have taken medicine or drugs that make you drowsy.
· Always stay in the kitchen when frying, boiling, grilling, and broiling food.
· Also, have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove.
If a small fire starts in a pan on the stove:
· Always keep a lid nearby when you are cooking. Smother the flames by sliding the lid over the pan. Turn
off the burner. Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, leave the lid on until the pan has cooled.
· Never pour water on a cooking pan grease fire.
· Never discharge a portable fire extinguisher into a grease fire because it will spread the fire.
· In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed until it is cool. After a fire, the oven should be checked and/or serviced before being used again.
· If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll. Stop, drop to the ground and cover your face with your hands. Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.
· Treat a burn by putting it in cool water for 3 to 5 minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. Do not apply creams, ointments, sprays, or other home remedies. Get medical help right away by calling 9-1-1.
Safe Cooking Equipment
· Always use cooking equipment that is listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
· Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and code requirements when installing, using, or cleaning cooking equipment. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning and operating cooking equipment.
· Plug microwave ovens or other cooking appliances directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance—it can overload the circuit and cause a fire.
· Check electrical cords for cracks, breaks, damage, or overheating. Have a professional repair the appliance or cord as needed, or replace the appliance.
· Place or install the microwave oven at a safe height
within easy reach of all users. If possible, the face of the person using the microwave oven should be higher than the front of the microwave oven door to reduce the risk
of a scald.
· Always supervise children when they are using the microwave oven.
· Use only microwave-safe cookware (containers or dishes). Never use aluminum foil or metal objects in a microwave oven.
· Do not leave a microwave oven unattended when microwaving popcorn, since the heat buildup can cause fires. Heat the popcorn according to the written instructions.
· Open microwaved food away from the face. Hot steam escaping from a container of microwaved food or the food itself can cause burns.
· Verify the cooking time when using a microwave oven.
· Never heat a baby bottle in a microwave oven because it heats liquids unevenly. Heat baby bottles in warm water from the faucet.
· If your microwave oven is mounted over your stove, use extra caution.
· If you have a fire in your microwave oven, turn it off immediately. This will stop the fan so it won’t feed oxygen to the flames. Never open the oven door until the fire is out. If in doubt, call the fire department. When in doubt, just get out! If the fire is large, or you do not feel comfortable smothering it, alert everyone in the home and evacuate immediately. As you leave, close doors behind you to help contain the fire. Once
safely outside, call 9-1-1 from a cell phone or a neighbor’s telephone.
Information provided by the Fire Fatality Task Force, for more information click here CRR Guide