More than 100 million cooktops and ranges are being used in the U.S., most without incident. Cooking, when done properly, is a safe activity. However, unattended cooking remains the leading cause of household fires in the U.S. and Canada.
With a few simple steps, you can greatly reduce the risk of cooking fires. Whether stirring up a quick dinner or creating a masterpiece four-course meal, here is a Recipe for Safer Cooking that you need to use daily.
Follow these steps to prevent cooking fires:
- Keep an eye on your cooking and stay in the kitchen. Unattended cooking is the #1 cause of cooking fires.
- Wear short or close-fitting sleeves. Loose clothing can catch fire.
- Watch children closely in the kitchen. Teach children to cook safely when they’re old enough.
- Clean cooking surfaces regularly to prevent food and grease build-up.
- Keep curtains, towels and pot holders away from hot surfaces. Store solvents and flammable cleaners away from heat sources. Never keep gasoline in the house.
- Turn pan handles inward to prevent food spills and put them out of reach of children.
If a cooking fire breaks out, take these steps:
- Call the fire department immediately. Call directly if possible. In many cases, 911 calls go to general emergency services.
- Slide a pan over the flames to smother a grease or oil fire, then turn off the heat and leave the lid in place until the pan cools. Never carry the pan outside.
- Extinguish other fires with baking soda. Never use water or flour on cooking fires.
- Keep the oven door shut and turn off the heat to smother an oven or broiler fire.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Make sure you have the right type and training.
- Keep a working smoke detector in your home and test it monthly.
These safety tips are supported by AHAM, UL, the National Association of State Fire Marshals and the National Safety Council.
Read the home appliance industry’s action plan to reduce unattended cooking fires
Download AHAM's Safe Cooking brochure in English or Spanish .