Be safe in the kitchen lest your home burns down - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Be safe in the kitchen lest your home burns down

September 24th, 2020 SanTan Sun News
Be safe in the kitchen lest your home burns down

By the City of Chandler

Whether you enjoy spending time in the kitchen cooking for yourself or others, or you cook because, well … you have to; a fire in the kitchen can ruin much more than a meal.

Cooking –especially unattended cooking –is the leading cause of home fires in the United States. About 44 percent of reported home fires started in the kitchen, with nearly two-thirds of home cooking fires starting with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

October is National Fire Prevention Month and Oct. 4-10 is Fire Prevention Week.

This year’s campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!” works to educate everyone about the simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves, and those around them, safe in the kitchen. The Chandler Fire Department encourages residents to review these bite-sized tips that can help children, adults and teachers learn how to prevent fires or stay safe in case of a fire.

Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, baking, boiling or broiling. Use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking and avoid distractions. If you have to leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove or oven.

Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when you’re cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan to smother the flame. Turn off the burner and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.

Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop, including dish towels, pot holders and paper towels. You might have left a burner on by accident, and built-up heat could ignite combustibles left near or on the stove or oven.

Loose clothing can hang down onto stove burners and catch fire. Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. And tie back long hair when cooking.

Don’t overfill pots or pans with oil or grease. The hot oil or grease can splatter and cause a fire.

Wipe up spills and don’t cook on a dirty stove. Grease buildup is flammable. A clean stove is a fire-free stove.

Keep kitchen appliances serviced, clean and in good repair. If you have a toaster or toaster oven dump the crumb tray and clean out any remaining crumbs periodically. Wipe out the microwave. Clean the oven. Unplug any appliances that start acting funny, then have them repaired or replace them.

Don’t use metal in the microwave. The sparks can turn into fire or can seriously damage your microwave.

Use caution when lighting the pilot light or burner on a gas stove. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. After cleaning your stovetop, double check to make sure none of the burner controls were accidentally turned.

Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

You have to be alert when cooking. You won’t be alert if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or consumed alcohol that makes you drowsy.

Finally, install a smoke detector according to the manufacturer’s recommended specifications, but NOT in the kitchen. You don’t want the small amount of smoke or steam that cooking sometimes generates to constantly trigger the alarm but you do want it to sense an actual kitchen fire. Remember to replace the battery on all your smoke alarms at least once a year.

For additional fire prevention information: or