Fire Safety: Kitchen Fires Can Be Prevented

  • Published
  • By Holly Logan-Arrington
  • Robins Public Affairs
From 2007 to 2011, cooking mishaps caused about 43 percent of all home fires and 36 percent of all home fire-related injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association.  

That trend can be drastically reduced through education and awareness. 

Everyone is responsible for fire prevention and for ensuring their dependents are aware of and practice sound fire prevention practices at home. 

Basic fire safety tips: 

- Never leave an oven, stove or microwave unattended when cooking.

- Know what to do in the event of a fire. Have a lid and potholders nearby. If a fire occurs, put a lid on the pan and turn the burner off. Don't attempt to move a pan that has caught fire. If the fire is inside the oven, keep the door closed and turn the oven off.  If it's inside a microwave, keep the door closed and, if safety permits, unplug it.  

- If you have to leave the stove, turn it off or have another person attend it who will know what to do in the event of a fire. 

- Before using a new microwave oven, always read the manufacturer's operating procedures. 

- Never attempt to heat articles that aren't approved for use in microwave ovens. 

- Never use recycled paper products in microwave ovens unless they're specifically approved for that use.  Some products contain metal flecks

- Be careful when microwaving liquids. Some containers may feel warm rather than hot. That can easily result in the splashing or spilling of a scalding liquid. 

- Use oven mitts or potholders to remove items from the microwave.  Be careful when removing a wrapping or covering, hot steam burns can occur.  

- Use microwave-safe utensils. The instructions that come with each microwave oven specify what kinds of containers are safe to use. 

- Never apply water, salt or flour on a grease fire. 

- Know how to use your fire extinguisher and inspect it monthly for serviceability. 

- Clean appliances daily or after each use. Grease accumulates quickly and accelerates the spread of fire. 

- Ensure matches and other flammables are not stored above or near the stove. 

- Double check to ensure burners are turned off after cooking.  

- Unplug portable appliances such as toasters, coffee pots, toaster ovens, bread machines, electric skillets and crock pots. 

The fire prevention office highly recommends all personnel on base whether they live in base housing or dormitories to purchase renter's insurance. Renter's insurance is relatively inexpensive and can be obtained through local insurance providers.   

For those who live on base, remember to dial 9-1-1, or 222-2900, whether the fire has been extinguished or not, the base Fire Emergency Services must be notified. 

For more information on Fire Safety at home or work, call the Fire Prevention Office at DSN 468-2145 or (478) 926-2145.