Leaving an unattended pan or skillet cooking on the stove is a good way to burn your food, not to mention the chance of burning down your house.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) cooking fires are the #1 cause of home* fires and home fire injuries. Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fire started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials. Further more according to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) statistics, almost 30 percent of all reported home fires start in the kitchen, and of those, most involve the range-top.
Basic cooking fire prevention and fire safety mesures are very simple and easy to do and can prevent a cooking situation from becoming a far worse outcome. Just remember, practice and use these Cooking Fire Safety Tips ...
* Always use cooking equipment tested and approved by a recognized testing facility.
* Never leave cooking food on the stovetop unattended, and keep a close eye on food cooking inside the oven.
* Keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles (e.g. potholders, towels, rags, drapes and food packaging).
* Keep children and pets away from cooking areas by creating a three-foot (one-meter) "kid–free zone" around the stove.
* Turn pot handles inward so they can't be bumped and children can't grab them.
* Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire.
* Never use a wet oven mitt, as it presents a scald danger if the moisture in the mitt is heated.
* Always keep a potholder, oven mitt and lid handy. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner.
* Never pour water on a grease fire and never discharge a fire extinguisher onto a pan fire, as it can spray or shoot burning grease around the kitchen, actually spreading the fire.
* If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing.
* There is a microwave fire, keep the door closed and unplug the microwave. Call the fire department and make sure to have the oven serviced before you use it again.
* Food cooked in a microwave can be dangerously hot. Remove the lids or other coverings from microwaved food carefully to prevent steam burns.
Fire can ripped through a home after a unattended cooking fire gets started. Such was the case in Lehigh Acres, Florida when the Lehigh Acres Fire Rescue responded to combat a structure fire at 2706 13th Street SW at 1325 hours on 2/24/12. The cause of the fire was unattended cooking. The family told firefighters that around 1:30 p.m., they left their home after cooking and forgot to turn the stove off. Here's news footage of this fire and video footage of the firefighters fighting the blaze...
Remember, Prevent Fires! It's Your Job!