Tuesday evening, I almost had a kitchen fire.
I decided to make sweet potato fries in the oven. Since I only had one sweet potato, I added several small white potatoes.
Things were going well until I was cooking the second pan of oven fries. When I was turning the first set, the smoke alarm went off. So, when it was time to turn the fries in the second pan, I lifted the pan out of the oven.
Big mistake. I’d used the pan I make biscuits on. It doesn’t have sides on two of the edges. I had extra olive oil in the bowl where I coated the potatoes, so I spooned it over the fries.
The fat spilled out of the pan and splashed on the red-hot coils in the oven when I lifted the pan out of the oven. Smoke rolled out. I was scared I was going to have an oven fire or a kitchen fire.
Fortunately, no fire occurred. I was lucky.
Cooking is the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries.
In 2013, there were nearly 10,000 residential fires involving cooking. These incidents resulted in six deaths, 92 injuries, and an estimated $9.8 million in property damage.
Here are tips on how to prevent kitchen fires from the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.
- Put a lid on a grease fire to smother it, and then turn off the heat. Baking soda will also work.
- Never move a burning pan. You can be badly burned and/or spread the fire.
- Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on a grease fire. Water will only spread the fire and the force of the extinguisher can splash flaming grease out of the pan.
- Stand by your pan. Don't leave food, grease, or oils cooking on the stovetop unattended.
- Wear short- or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking. Loose fitting clothing can easily catch fire.
- STOP, DROP, and ROLL to put out the flames if your clothing catches fire. Put burns in cool running water. Call 911 for help.
- Keep pot handles turned inward to prevent accidental spills of hot contents.
- Create a three-foot "child-free zone" around the stove. Keep children and pets away from the stove while cooking to prevent burns and scalds.
So, remember these safety tips when you’re cooking. Having a kitchen fire or burning down your house would be a tragedy.
<div style="width: 100%; margin: auto; text-align: center;">Copyright 2016, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist</div>