Cooking number-one cause of fire

Ed Brouwer provides tips on how to prevent and deal with fire hazards in the home.

Kitchen: Careless cooking is the number one cause of residential fires. Never leave cooking unattended.

• It’s wise to have a fire extinguisher near the kitchen. Keep it 10 feet away from the stove on the exit side of the kitchen.

• Never pour water on a grease fire; turn off the stove and cover the pan with a lid, or close the oven door.

• Keep pot handles on the stove pointing to the back, and always watch young children in the kitchen.

• Don’t store items on the stove top, as they could catch fire.

• Keep kitchen appliances clean and in good condition, and turn them off and disconnect them when not in use.

• Don’t overload kitchen electrical outlets and don’t use appliances with frayed or cracked wires.

• Wear tight-fitting clothing when you cook. Here’s why: An electrical coil on the stove reaches a temperature of 800 degrees.

A gas flame goes over 1,000 degrees. Your dish towel or pot holder can catch fire at 400 degrees. So can your bathrobe, apron, or loose sleeve.

• Be sure your stove is not located under a window in which curtains are hanging.

• Clean the exhaust hood and duct over the stove regularly. and wipe up spilled grease as soon as the surface of the stove is cool.

• Operate your microwave only when there is food in it.

Children and Grandchildren: One fourth of all fire-deaths of children are from fires started by children.

• Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children.

• Never leave children unattended with fire or space heaters.

• Children are naturally curious about fire, so keep an eye on them. But if a child repeatedly plays with fire or seems to have a morbid fascination with fire, seek professional help at once.

• If youngsters live with you or stay overnight occasionally, be sure that they know how to escape from every room and are part of your emergency exit plan.

 

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