It is tragic that, on average, eight Canadians die from fire every week. Cooking related fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires in Canada. We must be aware of the simple preventative measures we can take to prevent disaster from occurring to us.
Each year, thousands of fires are caused by careless or improper use of cooking equipment, resulting in many deaths and hundreds of injuries each year. Kitchen fires due to cooking oil or grease igniting into flames cause the fastest-spreading and most destructive type of residential fire.
When in the kitchen,
• Use appropriate cooking appliances, keep them clean and in good working order.
• Plug one appliance in a receptacle at a time and keep cords out of the reach of children.
• Use appliances that have an automatic shut-off and/or a temperature control.
• Never cook if you are sleepy, intoxicated, or heavily medicated.
• Never leave cooking appliances unattended when in use.
• Avoid loose long sleeves when cooking.
• Keep your stove top clean and clear at all times. Grease and food splatters can ignite.
• Store items that interest children away from the immediate cooking area.
• Move items that can be climbed on away from the stove.
• Remember to turn all pot handles inward. Small children and animals can easily bump a pot handle spilling hot grease or boiling water, causing someone to be burned or start a fire.
• If you are cooking with oil or grease and it ignites, do not throw water on the fire or move a flaming pot or pan. Keep a pot cover nearby to "put a lid on it" and smother the fire. Never throw hot grease in the garbage can.
• If you have a fire in your microwave oven, do not open the door. Unplug it immediately.
• Make sure you know what cooking materials can be used for the microwave. Never put metallic materials in the microwave oven. These materials cause sparks, which may result in a fire.
• Ensure that you wear oven mitts when removing cooking containers to avoid serious burns.
• Be careful around the sink or water while using electrical appliances. Electrical appliances near water could cause electrocution. Never stand in or near water while using an electrical appliance.
• Remember that steam escaping from a pan or container can cause severe burns.
• Be very careful of boiling water and other boiling liquids. They can cause very serious burns.
• Keep an ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen.
Prevention is the best way to keep your home safe from fire.