The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where families gather to cook favorite recipes, share warm meals, and reconnect with each other, especially during the holidays. Unfortunately, it’s also where the number one reported home fire starts. So, whether testing out a new dish or whipping up a family classic, there’s one recipe that should also be included on the menu this holiday season: Safety.
Follow this “Recipe for Kitchen Safety” and help this year’s festivities create memories instead of danger:
- Protect Children from Scalds and Burns. Young children are at high risk of being burned by hot food and liquids. Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of 3 feet around the stove.
- Watch What You’re Cooking. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or cooking food on the stove top or broiling food.
- Choose the Right Equipment and Use It Properly. Follow manufacturers’ instructions when using cooking equipment. Remember to plug microwave ovens and other cooking appliances directly into an outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance, as it can overload the circuit and cause a fire. Cook only with equipment designed and intended for cooking, and heat your home only with equipment designed and intended for heating.
- Keep Things That Can Catch Fire and Heat Sources Apart. Keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains – away from your stovetop. Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean. Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
- Prevent Scalds and Burns. To prevent spills due to overturned appliances containing hot food or liquids, use the back burner when possible, and/or turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge. Use oven mitts or potholders when moving hot food from ovens, microwave ovens, or stovetops.
Fires are a risk in the kitchen year-round, but we’re even more distracted by entertaining guests and family this time of year. Cooking equipment, most often a range or stovetop, is the leading cause of reported home fires within the Spokane Valley Fire Department. Cooking equipment is also the leading cause of unreported fires and associated injuries in the United States.
On behalf of the Spokane Valley Fire Department, We Wish You a Happy (fire and burn-free) Holiday Season!