Most fires in the kitchen start from cooking. Try the following recipe for safe cooking.
Watch the Pot
Never leave cooking unattended. If you must leave the kitchen then turn off the hot plates or take something to remind you of cooking food eg. Wooden spoon, tea towel.
Clear the Cooking Area
Curtains, tea towels, oven mitts and any flammable items should be kept well away from the cooking area.
Control the Splatter
Be careful when cooking with oil. Heat oil slowly.
When cooking, use the right type and size saucepan for the job and keep the heat low enough to avoid fat spatters or boiling over.
Every saucepan should have a lid. When using a saucepan, especially when oil is involved, keep the lid handy as it can be used to smother a fire.
No Water Needed
Water does not put out fat or oils fires. It can spread the fire and cause serious injury.
Smothering the Flame
If a fire does start on the stove –
- Turn off the heat source either on the stove or at the fuse box;
- If cooking oil catches fire, slide a lid over the pan or use a fire blanket to smother the flames, then turn the burner off;
- Do not remove the pan, lid or fire blanket until the pot has cooled, as the fire will re-ignite if the oil is still hot; and Never carry a burning pot - horrific burn injuries can occur;
- Check that tea towels and curtains are not too close to the stove-top;
- Keep the stove clean and clear of grease;
- Consider installing a stove guard to keep inquisitive fingers away;
- Fire extinguishers and fire blankets are essential items in every home. They should be located near the entrance of the kitchen;
- After you have purchased a portable fire extinguisher (dry chemical type) or fire blanket it is important to familiarise yourself with its operation.
Last updated July 2009