Unattended cooking is one of the leading causes of residential fires in Austin and in Texas, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in property loss and numerous injuries each year. Here are some tips to help avoid fires and burns:
- Never leave food cooking unattended. Stay in the kitchen or turn off the stove.
- Should a pan fire occur, use a fire extinguisher, baking soda, or a tight-fitting lid to extinguish the fire. If the fire has spread beyond the pan, get out immediately and call 911.
- Have a fire extinguisher within 10 feet of the stove on the exit side of the room. A 2-1/2 pound class "ABC" Multi-Purpose Dry Chemical extinguisher is recommended. If your stove is gas fueled, the pilot flame could be extinguished while using the extinguisher. Be sure to relight pilot flame or shut off the gas to the appliance.
- Never use flour or water to extinguish a cooking fire. Flour is combustible and water can spread the fire.
- Never attempt to carry a burning pan out of the kitchen area; severe burns could result and the fire could spread.
- Keep pan handles turned inwards so they aren’t accidentally bumped or grabbed by children.
- Do not wear clothing with loose sleeves while cooking. Clothing may ignite or catch a pot handle and pull it off the stove.
- Make sure there aren’t any combustible objects such as dishtowels, potholders, decorations or boxes on or near the stove.
- Keep the stove clean. Do not allow grease to accumulate on cooking surfaces.
- Be sure to remove any food or grease that spills inside the oven.
- Stand to the side of the door when opening to avoid smoke and heat.
- If there is a fire in the oven, turn off the oven and allow the fire to die down before opening the oven door.
- After extinguishing the fire be sure to relight the pilot flame or shut off the gas to the appliance.
- If a fire breaks out in a microwave oven, keep the door closed and unplug the unit. Don't try to remove burning containers from a microwave.