Fire Prevention Week 2023 October 8 - 14, 2023
Each year the National Fire Protection Association is the sponsor of Fire Prevention week. The 2023 focus is on cooking safety. Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires and deaths. There are some simple but effective ways to reduce this hazard.
“Cook with Caution”
Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, boiling, 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, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet (1 meter) around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
If you have a small (grease) cooking fire and decide to fight the fire...
On the stovetop, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
If you have any doubt about fighting a small fire…
Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from outside the home.
As the fuel of choice for many kitchens is electricity, the number of electrical cooking appliances has significantly increased. Here are safety tips for the different cooking appliances.
Key Safety Tips
Always use cooking equipment—air fryers, slow cookers, electric skillets, hot plates, griddles, etc.—that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on where and how to use appliances.
Remember to unplug all appliances when not in use.
Check cords regularly for damage. Do not use any appliance with a damaged cord.
A slow cooker is designed to be left on while you do other things, even things outside of the home. However, there are few safety tips to keep in mind:
Keep things that could catch fire away from the slow cooker.
Make sure the slow cooker is in a place where it won’t get bumped. If the lid gets dislodged, the liquid could boil away, which could cause the appliance to overheat and create a fire.
A pressure cooker is designed to cook food faster than a stovetop or oven. Because it uses hot steam and pressure to cook food it is important that they are used properly to prevent burns.
Place the cooker in an open space to give enough room for the steam to ventilate.
Never cover the steam release valve on the pressure cooker.
Do not leave the home when using a pressure cooker.
Give your air fryer enough space. The air vents release heat and need airflow.
Do not leave the home when using the air fryer.
Make sure you clean grease and food debris after every use. Unplug and allow to cool completely before cleaning.
Hot Plate, Griddle and Electric Skillet
Stay with the hot plate, griddle, or electric skillet when cooking.
Do not touch the surface of a hot plate, griddle, or electric skillet, as it could burn you.
Unplug a hot plate, griddle, or electric skillet when not in use and before cleaning. Allow the appliance to cool before cleaning it.
Turkey fryers that use oil and an open flame cannot be used safely. These fryers use a large quantity of cooking oil at hot temperatures, which can lead to devastating burns. Buy an infrared fryer or electric turkey fryer that has been listed by a qualified testing laboratory. Do not leave fryers unattended when in use.
Driehaus Insurance Group thanks the NFPA for use of their content for this message. Materials were reproduced from the NFPA’s website, https://www.nfpa.org/publiceducation. ©NFPA