Cooking Safety: It’s What’s for Dinner

We’ve all heard that catchy ad campaign, “Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner.” And while we know not everyone would place beef on their meal menu tonight (props to our vegetarian and vegan friends!) we do know that cooking safety should be the main course of every meal.

According to research, cooking is the #1 cause of home fires in the country and since it’s Fire Prevention Month we thought now was the time to talk about it.

During the 2011 fiscal year, the Red Cross responded to more than 62,960 home fires across the nation and we know that they are the worst disaster threat to families in the U.S.  But by following these few safety tips, you can take great steps to keeping you and your household safe.

  • Don’t wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking
  • Never leave food unattended when cooking, especially when frying, grilling or broiling food.
  • Use a timer to remind yourself when food is done or that the stove is one
  • Keep kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least 3 feet away from the stove.
  • Clear the area around the stove from anything that can catch fire – pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper/plastic bags, towels, curtains, etc.
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup
  • Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen
  • Check the kitchen before going to be or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off
  • Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas and outside your bedrooms (inside if you sleep with your doors closed)
  • Test your smoke alarm each month, and replace your batteries at least once a year
Think you are a pro at fire safety or want to test our your new knowledge? Click on the picture below to play the DANGER CHALLENGE game on the Fire Safety for Kids website. And no worries, the game isn’ t just for kids. We tested it out and found it informative and fun to play!

Find out more by checking out the Red Cross Fire Prevention and Safety Checklist.

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