Did you know that fires caused by cooking tend to increase throughout the holiday season? Although, cooking fires are a concern year round, our concern escalates during the holiday season when people are often very busy, pressured and perhaps even distracted.
If you are entertaining this season, plan ahead to make sure you have enough time to prepare the meal. Hurried cooking and multi-tasking can sometimes cause us to neglect fire safety and lead to an unwanted house fire.
Always stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you must leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove. If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, use a timer, check the food regularly and remain at home the entire time the food is cooking.
Always wear short or close fitting sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing is a hazard because it can dangle near a stove burner and catch fire. Turn your pot handles inward and remember that any combustible near the stove is a potential fire hazard. Make sure the area around your stove is clear of potholders, towels, rags, drapes and food packaging.
Keep a potholder, oven mitt and lid handy when cooking with grease or fats. If a small grease fire starts, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pot. Turn off the burner and don’t remove the lid until it is completely cool. Never pour water on a grease fire or discharge a fire extinguisher onto it.
If you have a fire in your oven, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. This will eventually smother the fire and prevent the fire from spreading. The same logic applies to a fire in a microwave – turn off the appliance and unplug it, leaving the door shut the whole time.
The Saskatoon Fire Department wishes you a safe and happy holiday season and reminds you of the importance of fire safety even when hectic holiday schedules can diminish attention to fire hazards and increase the risk of fire.