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Cooking Safety

When you’re cooking, remember these important tips to keep your family and home safe.

Equipment Safety
  • checkedFrequently check your extinguishers for tampering or damage.
  • checkedCheck for and clean up accumulated grease. built up grease can cause fires.
Kitchen Safety Tips
  • checkedKeep a fire extinguisher available nearby and know how to use it ahead of time.
  • checkedKeep children and pets at least 3 feet from the stove.
  • checkedRemove combustibles away from hot surfaces. Clean up spills and practice good housekeeping.
  • checkedKeep exhaust fan on while cooking
  • checkedKeep flammable objects (dish towels, potholders, curtains, etc.) away from the stovetop.
  • checkedTurn pot handles inward to prevent them from being bumped or grabbed by children or pets.
  • checkedWear short sleeved shirts or close fitting clothes when cooking. Dangling clothes can easily catch fire.
  • crossedNever leave cooking food unattended.
  • crossedBe alert! Do not attempt to cook if you have been drinking or are drowsy.
  • crossedAvoid reaching over the stovetop.
turkey holiday dinner


  • Cooking is the #1 cause of home fires!

Emergency Measures

If a pan or pot catches fire smother the fire by sliding a lid over the pan if possible, turn off the burner, and don’t move the pan or pot. Keep the lid on until it cools completely. (Baking soda may help to suffocate the fire but be very cautious).

Don’t try to carry a grease fire out doors, if you drop the pan or pot it can spread very quickly.


The water will cause the grease to splatter and spread the fire in all directions.

Keep the door closed or close the oven door and turn off the heat. Call 9-1-1.

Keep the door closed or close the door and unplug the microwave. Be sure to have the oven serviced before you use it again.

Stop, drop, cover your face if possible, and roll. Smother the fire by keeping your body close to the ground.

Grilling Safety

There’s nothing like outdoor grilling. It’s one of the most popular ways to cook food. But, a grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard. They can be very hot, causing burn injuries. Follow these simple tips and you will be on the way to safe grilling.

  • checkedPropane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • checkedThe grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • checkedKeep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  • checkedKeep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • checkedAlways make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
  • crossedNever leave your grill unattended.
outdoor grilling


  • July is the peak month for grill fires.
  • Roughly half of the injuries involving grills are thermal burns.

Courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association.

Charcoal Grills
  • checkedThere are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • checkedIf you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • checkedKeep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • checkedThere are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • checkedWhen you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
Propane Grills
  • checkedCheck the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
  • checkedApply a light soap and water solution to the hose.
  • checkedA propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
  • checkedIf you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
  • checkedIf the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 5 minutes before re-lighting it.