Fire Prevention Week takes a focus on cooking safely in the kitchen

SPOKANE, Wash. — It’s Fire Prevention week from Oct. 4 to Oct. 10 this year and the focus is on cooking safety.

The Spokane Fire Department says it’s especially timely with major cooking holidays coming up and more families staying at home.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the leading cause of house fires and house fire injuries in the United States.

Most of these fires involve unattended cooking or being distracted in general.

Some people practice what’s called ‘stovetop storage’ and put groceries, kitchen rags and other flammable items on the stove without thinking.

Grease fires happen when you start cooking, then get distracted.

COOKING TIPS

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly and stay in the home.
  • Always keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it’s cool.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop.
  • Loose clothing can hang down onto stove burners and catch fire. Wear short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet (1 meter) around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

For more examples of cooking fires and tips on how to prevent them, see the NFPA website.