Older adults at risk for hypothermia in cold, winter weather
General Motors, dealers agree to let car buyers know about unrepaired safety recalls

Tips for preventing kitchen fires


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>


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)