During this challenging time, our families are doing more cooking at home instead of eating at restaurants. It’s important to remember that cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and home injuries and usually because of unattended cooking. New Mexico State University’s Fire Department has a few simple tips from the National Fire Protection Association to help protect your family and your home.
What you should know about home cooking safety
- 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, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
- If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen 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.
If you have a cooking fire
- Just get out. When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Call 911 or the local emergency number after you leave.
- If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
- Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turning off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
To learn more, watch this video from the National Fire Protection Association.