MCFRS News Release
Cooking is the Leading Cause of U.S. Home Fires
Holiday Meals and Entertaining Need Time and Attention
Don’t be a Turkey -- Make Safety Count
Cooking fires annually cause millions of dollars in damage and injure dozens of residents in Montgomery County. Remember, during holidays there seems to always be an increased activity in the kitchen especially when entertaining guests. Also be mindful and careful with candles and smoking materials, particularly when guests, pets and small children are present. Be safe. Smoke Alarms Safe Lives!
- Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking fires.
- Three in every 10 reported home fires start in the kitchen – more than any other place in the home.
- One-third (34%) of candle fires occurred after candles were left unattended, abandoned or inadequately controlled; Twenty-six percent occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle; Six percent were started by people (usually children) playing with the candle.
- The most common material first ignited in residential smoking material-related fires was mattresses and bedding, followed by trash and upholstered furniture.
Following these simple fire safety tips can boost survival rates dramatically. Knowledge is the best fire protection:
Cooking Fires Life-Saving Tips
- Never leave cooking unattended. A serious fire can start in just seconds.
- Always wear short, tight-fitting sleeves when cooking.
- Turn pot handles inward to avoid spills. Always use a potholder when reaching for handles.
- Keep towels, pot holders and curtains away from flames and hot surfaces.
- Clean cooking surfaces regularly to prevent grease buildup which can ignite.
- If a fire breaks out while cooking, put a lid on the pan to smother it. You may also use baking soda. Never throw water on a grease fire.
- Heat oil gradually to avoid burns from spattering grease. Use extra caution when preparing deep-fried foods.
- Place a rubber mat on the floor in front of your stove to give you added traction in case liquids or grease spill.
- Double-check the kitchen before you go to bed or leave the house. Make sure all other appliances are turned off.
- Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home. Test the batteries every month, and change them once a year.
- Eighty percent of all fire deaths occur in the home.
- Cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. It is also the leading cause of fire injuries.
- Deaths due to fires caused by cooking are particularly avoidable.
- Having a working smoke alarm more than doubles one's chances of surviving a fire.
- The winter months of November, December, January and February are typically the busiest for Fire Departments in this area.