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According to a new report released by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking remains top cause of home structure fires.  "U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 357,000 home structure fires annually between 2009 and 2013. These fires caused an estimated average of 2,470 civilian deaths and $6.9 billion in direct property damage yearly." Follow these important cooking-related safety tips from the NFPA and stay safe:

Cooking Safety Tips

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking remains the top cause of home structure fires.

The Statistics

U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 346,802 home structure fires annually in a recent 4 year span, even though the majority of cooking fires are not reported to fire departments.

These house fires caused an estimated average of 2,620 civilian deaths and $7.3 billion in direct property damage each year. Both of these numbers are an increase from the previous period. 

A shocking 75% of (civilian) fire deaths and 72% of injuries come from house fires, according to the NFPA.

Cooking Safety Tips

  1. If you are sleepy, have consumed alcohol or have taken medicine that may make you drowsy, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  2. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  3. If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer as a reminder that you are cooking.
  4. Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains – away from your stovetop.
  5. When cooking, wear short, close-fitting clothing or tightly rolled sleeves.
  6. If you have a fire in your microwave, turn it off immediately and keep the door closed. Do not open the door until the fire is completely out and have the microwave serviced before using it again.
  7. If a fire starts in your oven, turn off the oven and leave the door closed. The oven should be checked/serviced before used again.
  8. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. do not move the pan. Keep lid on until the pan is completely cool.
  9. Never use a grill on a balcony.
  10. Never add charcoal starter fluid on coals or kindling you’ve already ignited.

Check out the full list of the NFPA’s Cooking Safety best practices.

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