Holiday Cooking Safety

Prevent kitchen fires with these simple safety tips

The holidays are almost here and that can mean big cooking projects and lots of distractions when your home is full of guests. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. and it’s also the leading cause of fire injuries. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, the three leading dates for home fires and home fire injuries are Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of a cooking-related fire.

Kitchen Fire Prevention Tips

  • Heat oil gradually to avoid burns from spattering grease. Use extra caution when preparing deep-fried foods.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time turn off the stove.
  • Keep towels, pot holders, clothing and curtains away from flames and heating elements. Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher available.
  • Clean cooking surfaces regularly to prevent grease buildup that could ignite.
  • If a fire breaks out while cooking, put a lid on the pan to smother it. Never throw water on a grease fire.
  • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even briefly.
  • Double-check the kitchen before you go to bed or leave the house. Make sure all small appliances are turned off.

Create and Practice a Fire Escape Plan

In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. Visit our Fire Safety and Prevention page for more information on creating an escape plan and what to do in the event of a home fire.

Learn About Fires

Many people underestimate the potential severity of a fire or do not understand how quickly it can become extremely dangerous.

  • Fire is FAST! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames.
  • Fire is HOT! Heat is more threatening than flames. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes to your skin.
  • Fire is DARK! Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness.
  • Fire is DEADLY! Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire produces poisonous gases that make you disoriented and drowsy.
Phone: 816-474-4240
600 Broadway, Suite 200
Kansas City, MO 64105
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