Kitchen fires are one of the leading causes of house fires each year.
In honor of National Fire Prevention Week, the American Red Cross is sharing tips on how to prevent such tragedies.
“In the Mohawk Valley, we see first-hand the destruction a cooking fire can cause,” said Rosie Taravella, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Central New York Region. “These emergencies can be prevented and we urge everyone to follow these steps to help avoid a fire in their home.”
1. Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
2. Stay in the kitchen and never leave cooking food unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
3. When frying food, turn the burner off if you see smoke or the grease starts to boil.
4. Keep children and pets at least 3 feet form the stove.
5. Clean and clear the area around the stove before turning on the heat. Move things that can burn — dishtowels, bags, boxes, etc. — away from the stove.
6. Turn pot handles to the back of the stove so no one bumps them or pulls them over.
7. Keep a pan lid or cookie sheet nearby. Use it to cover a pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the flames. Do not move the pan; turn off the heat and keep the lid on the pan until it cools. Do not try to stop a grease fire with water; that will only make it bigger.
8. If something catches on fire in the oven, keep the door closed. Call 911 so firefighters can make sure the fire hasn’t spread to the walls.
9. If something catches fire in the microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the microwave if possible. Don’t use it again until a repairman checks it.
10. If someone’s clothing catches on fire, remember to stop, drop and roll to extinguish the flames.
11. If you aren’t able to quickly extinguish the fire, leave the home and call 911 from outside. Make sure everyone evacuates quickly, and once you’re out, stay out. Never go back inside a burning building.