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April 2008

Attention to safety can prevent nearly all cooking fires

NFPA report identifies cooking as leading cause of home fires

“Cooking results in more home fires and fire injuries in the United States each year than anything else and nearly all of these fires can be prevented with a little extra care,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA's vice president of communications. “Simply paying attention when you are cooking will keep your dinner and everything else from getting burned.”

NFPA offers the following safety tips.

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you're cooking.
  • To prevent cooking fires, you have to be alert. You won't be if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, boxes, food packaging, towels or curtains – away from your stovetop.
  • Keep the stovetop, burners and oven clean.
  • Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner
  • Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and can catch fire if it comes in contact with a gas flame or electric burner.

Cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Nearly all cooking equipment fires start with the ignition of food, other cooking materials (e.g., grease, cooking oil), or other items normally found or installed in a kitchen (e.g., cabinets, wall coverings, paper or plastic bags, curtains).

In case of a fire or other emergency, please call University Police. Dial 911 from any campus phone or (631) 632-3333.

Additional information is available at the following websites:

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