This will come as no great surprise, but did you know that the majority of house fires are the result of cooking? In fact, studies show that cooking results in approximately 400,000 fires every year in single family homes and multiple family dwellings. Add to that the number of fires that go unreported and the total is more like 3.5 million residential fires.
Here are some tips from the Orange County (Calif) Fire Authority to help prevent most of these fires:
*Never leave cooking unattended – This is probably the most common cause of kitchen fires. This includes all appliances including toaster ovens, coffee pots and other small appliances. They can overheat and cause a fire if left alone. Be sure to unplug them when not in use.
*Wear close-fitting clothes while cooking – loose, long sleeves can catch fire when dangling near hot burners. Wear close fitting sleeves and avoid storing things over the stove and having to reach over hot burners to retrieve items.
*Avoid overloading outlets – plugging too many appliances into an outlet could result in an electrical fire. Also be aware of cracked or frayed cords.
*Heat oil slowly – Fires can start easily if the setting is too high and the pan is unattended.
*Smother a grease fire – don’t use water on a cooking fire as this will spread the fire and make the it worse. Slide a lid or other non combustible item over the fire and remove the heat source. With oven fires, close the door and turn off the oven.
*Do not allow children to play around the range and other appliances.
*Don’t hesitate to call 911.
These are just some of the common-sense reminders that can help to prevent a fire and send your dream home up in flames. Or, worse, cause severe injury or death. A small amount of caution can make a world of difference. Remember what your mother said: don’t play with fire!