Cooking Safety

Cooking brings families and friends together, provides an outlet for creativity, and can be relaxing. However, it’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, fires resulting from cooking continue to be the most common type of fire experienced by U.S. households. Cooking fires are also one of the leading causes of home fire injuries.

Recent Studies

  • Cooking was tied for the third leading cause of all home fire deaths.
  • The leading cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking.
  • Households using electric ranges have a higher risk of fires than those using gas ranges. Frying poses the greatest risk of fire.
  • Three of every five (58%) reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.
  • Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but these incidents accounted 14% of the cooking fire deaths.
  • Children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking than being burned in a cooking fire.

Related Documents

Related Links

  1. Cooking Safety Tips
  2. If You Have A Cooking Fire
  3. Microwave Oven Safety
  • Be alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen, don't leave cooking food unattended (Stand by your pan!).
  • If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Wear short or tight fitting sleeves. (Long loose sleeves are more likely to catch on fire or get caught on pot handles).
  • Don't become distracted. The most common distractions are attending to children, answering phone calls, watching television, and answering doorbells.
  • Enforce a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around your stove. Turn pot handles inward facing the wall to prevent burns caused by overturning or spills.
  • Keep the area around the stove clear of towels, papers, pot holders, curtains, food packaging, wooden utensils, or anything that could burn.
  • Cook at indicated temperatures settings rather than higher settings.
  • Clean your cooking equipment so that there are no cooking materials, food items or grease accumulation.
  • Have a pot lid handy to smother a pan fire. Do not attempt to pick up the pot or pan. Shut off the heat and cover the fire with a lid. Do not use water. It will cause splashing and spread the fire.
  • Use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.