Good To Know: Cooking Fire & Burn Safety

This month’s Good To Know is all about cooking fire and burn safety.  Many of us work regularly in our kitchens but accidents like these are not regular happenings…at least they shouldn’t be!  Read on for a refresher that could save your life.

Illustration courtesy of firesafetyforkids.com

My dad is a retired chef.  With all his experience, he’s pretty much seen all the dangers one can experience while cooking.  He never fails to remind me of my safety when we work in the kitchen.  Lord knows he’s saved me from a wreck a few times.  Do you know how to properly put out a grease fire?  What do you really put on a burn?  Check out below to test your knowledge.

Fires

  1. Stand by your pan.  Never leave food, grease or oils cooking on the stove top unattended.  Put a lid on a grease fire to smother it before turning off the heat.  Baking soda can also help.
  2. Never move a burning pan.  You can get hurt or spread the fire.
  3. Never EVER throw water or use a fire extinguisher on a grease fire.  Water only spreads the fire and the force of the extinguisher can splash flaming grease out of the pan.
  4. Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking and put up long hair.  If you or your clothes catch fire, remember to stop, drop and roll.  Put burns in cool running water and call 9-1-1 for help.
  5. For fires inside an oven or microwave, keep the door closed, turn off the appliance and call the fire department.

Burns

  1. Keep pot handles turned in to prevent accidental spills of hot contents.  Microwaved foods and liquids can become very hot.  Use caution to avoid scalds.
  2. Create a three-foot “kid free zone” around the stove.  Keep children and pets away from the stove while cooking to prevent burns and scalds.  Do not use the oven to store items.
  3. Don’t use butter on a burn, says Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  Instead, they recommend honey.   Read more about it here.

Combustibles

  1. Keep pot holders, towels, paper or plastic bags away from heating elements.
  2. Don’t place any metal inside a microwave.  Utensils, aluminum foil and twist-tie wraps can arc and cause a fire.
  3. Unplug appliances, such as toasters and coffee makers when not in use.

Unattended cooking is the most frequent cause of fires in homes but the majority of people injured in fires are hurt while attempting to fight the fire.  Leave the firefighting to the trained professionals!

A word about smoke detectors:  A working smoke detector doubles your chances of surviving a fire.  Test your detectors monthly and change batteries when you change the clocks.  Don’t disable detectors to avoid false alarms while cooking.

To learn more about cooking fire and burn safety, visit the link below.

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