The Houston Fire Department Offers Some Simple Cooking Safety Tips

Last year, more than 60 percent of residential fires during Easter weekend were due to cooking. Cooking is one of the most common causes of home fires and is usually preventable by following some simple safety tips.

The Houston Fire Department offers these simple cooking safety tips to help ensure you have a happy Easter:

- Remember to use a moderate cooking temperature, don't overfill the container, and if you must leave the kitchen, turn the burner off .

- Turn pot handles away from the front of the stove. Curious children may reach up and grab the handle, pulling the hot contents down on themselves.

- Don't position handles over another burner, it may catch on fire or burn someone who touches it.

- Wear short sleeves or tight fitting long sleeves when cooking to reduce a clothing fire hazard.

- Shield yourself from scalding steam when lifting lids from hot pans.

- Make sure pot holders are not too close to the stove. They could catch fire.

- Keep ovens, broilers, stove tops, and exhaust ducts free from grease.

- If there is a fire in the oven - Turn off the oven and keep the oven door closed.

- Always, have a working smoke detector!

Over half the people attempting to extinguish a kitchen fire are injured. Often the best advice is to get everyone out of the house and call the fire department (911) from a neighbors house. Never try to move the pan, don't throw water on it, and don't put flour on it.

If you attempt to extinguish the fire, it is best to use a class ABC multipurpose fire extinguisher. Follow the manufacturers instructions - stay back 6 to 8 feet and be careful not to spray the grease out of the pan. Baking soda can also smother the fire. If the fire has not burned for more than fifteen seconds, it may still be possible to turn the burner off and use a tight fitting lid to smother the fire, but only if the fire is still small and has not spread beyond the pan.

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