For Immediate Release
Fire Department Warns of Cooking Dangers
A fire this week on North Delaware is a reminder for all Springfield residents to be cautious when cooking. In preparation for dinner, the homeowner turned the stove on and placed a pan of oil on the burner. She then left the pan unattended while attending to her children. When she came back into the kitchen she saw the pan of oil flaming. She then attempted to carry the flaming pan out the back door; spilling the hot oil on her and the kitchen floor. Unable to open the back door, she ran out the front door and put the pan in the front yard. Luckily, the woman will recover, but she sustained 2nd and 3rd degree burns on about 10 percent of her body.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires and associated civilian injuries and the third leading cause of home fire deaths. Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in these fires. To help prevent a devastating cooking fire, stay in the kitchen while cooking. Use a timer to remind you that you are cooking. And keep combustibles away from the stove top, including oven mitts, towels, paper towels, etc. Finally, never use foil or metal in a microwave.
While prevention is the key, you should also know what to do if you experience a cooking fire in your home. For a small fire in a pan on the stove, use an oven mitt to slide the lid over it and turn off the burner. Leave the lid on until it is completely cool. Never use water to extinguish a stove top fire! For a small fire in the oven, turn off the heat and keep the door closed until the fire goes out. Finally, for a small microwave fire, turn it off and unplug it. Keep the door closed until the fire is completely out. And remember, don't ever try and carry something that's burning through the house. This poses a physical danger to you and can potentially spread the fire throughout the house.
The Springfield Fire Department also encourages homeowners to properly install and maintain their smoke alarms. There should be at least one alarm on every level of the house, including outside every sleeping area. Check alarm batteries at least once a month and replace all alarms at least every 10 years. And remember to plan and practice home fire drills so every member of the home understands how to get out quickly if the alarm sounds. Springfield residents are eligible for one free smoke alarm by calling 864-1500.
For more information, contact: Fire and Life Safety Educator Cara Restelli Erwin, (417) 864-1699.