While the holidays can be a special time of the year, the North County Fire Authority wants to remind everyone of the importance of cooking fire safety this holiday season. Here are some things you can do to prevent a kitchen fire:
-Clean grease and food from your stove after each use. Remember that this includes the fan and fan filters above your stove as well. Grease buildup is a common cause of fires in the kitchen.
-Turn pot handles in toward the center of the stove when cooking. All too often, children suffer burns as the result of their pulling a pot handle, and dumping the scalding contents on themselves.
-Never wear clothes with long, and/or loose fitting sleeves while cooking. Loose sleeves too close to a burner may accidentally catch fire, burning you.
-Never cook while holding a child in your arms. Cooking requires your full attention. If you need to have your children in the kitchen while you cook, seat them away from the cooking area.
-Do not ever leave your kitchen while cooking. Turning your back on your cooking even for a minute, can, and often does have tragic results. If you do need to leave your kitchen to help a child, or answer the door or phone, turn the stove off.
Here are some helpful tips if a fire does occur in your kitchen:
For Stove Top Fires
-Turn off the burner.
-Cover the pot or pan with its lid. Slide the lid across the pan from the left or right.
-NEVER USE WATER ON A GREASE FIRE. It will only spread the fire, making matters worse. A better choice would be to use a fire extinguisher.
-If the fire has spread to the cabinets, or counter top, exit the house and call 9-1-1. Do not go back into the house for any reason.
For Oven Fires
–DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN! Keep the door closed so the fire doesn’t spread.
–Turn off the heat to the oven. Exit the house and call 9-1-1.
For Microwave Oven Fires
-Don’t cook anything in a container made with metal. It’s a good idea to only use containers labeled as “Microwave Safe.”
-Leave the microwave closed, exit the house and call 9-1-1.
You may obtain additional information on general fire safety at www.northcountyfire.org.