Fact: According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. On average, there are 99,300 cooking fires each year resulting in 290 deaths, 4,940 injuries and $400 million in property damage. In addition, 42% of the people who have died in cooking fires were asleep.As with all types of fires, most kitchen and cooking fires can be avoided by following these easy safety tips from NFPA:
What to do if there is a kitchen fire:
Your kitchen pots and pans may seem harmless, but if used incorrectly when cooking, a fire can result.
The following information describes the types of fires you might expect in the kitchen and what to do about them.
Dry Cooking Fires
The most common type of cooking fire is the dry cooking fire. The water or moisture boils out of the pan and the food left in the pan scorches, producing smoke. This usually doesn't cause a great deal of damage. The heat may sometimes damage the surrounding area. The smoke may leave a residue and an odor. Hopefully a little cleaning up is all it takes.
The grease fire occurs when oil or grease type foods are heated and ignite. A grease fire can do significant damage. Open flames can extend to surrounding cabinets or other combustible items. If unnoticed, a grease fire can extend to a major house fire, engulfing the entire kitchen, adjacent rooms or even the attic. This becomes a dangerous life-threatening fire.
Be prepared for grease pan fires by always keeping a lid and oven mitt nearby. If a pan of food catches fire, put on the oven mitt and carefully slide a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner, don’t move the pan and keep the lid on until the pan cools completely.
Never, never put water on a grease fire! Water will splatter the grease and dramatically increase the size of the fire. You will easily get burned! NEVER try to carry a flaming grease fire outside. It will quickly be too hot to carry and you will certainly spread the fire over the entire area.
Most of the time an oven fire is not serious. The fire is usually contained in the oven, which is designed for high heat anyway. The oven fire usually suffocates or is easily extinguished.
If a fire starts in your oven, close the oven door and turn off the heat source. If the flames don’t go out immediately, call the fire department.
In all cases, make sure everyone evacuates the house!