Cooking is leading cause of home fires in the U.S.

Last Updated on September 7, 2021 9:56 am

Boone, NC – Boone Fire Department is responding to an increase in fire alarm calls. Cooking is a leading cause of these alarm activations. We would like everyone to be aware of the following statistics, practice these cooking safety tips and know what to do if you have a cooking fire.

Based on 2014-2018 annual averages:

  • Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
  • Ranges or cooktops account for almost two-thirds (61%) of home cooking fire incidents.
  • Unattended cooking is a factor in one-third (31%) of reported home cooking fires and half (48%) of the associated deaths.
  • Frying dominates the cooking fire problem.

Sources: NFPA's Home Cooking Fires and Home Structure Fires reports.

Homes include one- and two-family homes, apartments (regardless of ownership), and manufactured housing.

What you should know about home cooking safety

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — clothing, oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop. Please do not use your stove as a table/countertop or your oven as a pantry.

If you have a cooking fire

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

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