Cooktops Are Top Culprits in Cooking Fires
As the holiday season approaches, local SERVPRO fire restoration specialist offers stovetop safety tips for home cooks
From 2014 to 2018, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports* that U.S. fire departments were called to an estimated average of 172,900 home structure fires related to cooking each year. During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, the number of home fires caused by cooking peaks to an average of 470 fires each day.
“These fires are tragic because they result in property damage, displacement of families, injury, and even death,” says fire damage restoration specialist Nicholas Leier of SERVPRO of Buckeye & West Surprise/Wickenburg. “The thing that compounds the tragedy, though, is that there are some simple steps everyone can take to reduce the chance of a cooking fire.” Nicholas urges homeowners to consider these basic guidelines for cooking safety:
- Never leave food unattended on a range or cooktop. That’s where 61 percent of home cooking fires start.
- Never cook on the stove top when you are sleepy or intoxicated.
- Use a timer to remind yourself that you are cooking.
- Keep anything flammable – potholders, wooden utensils, towels, curtains, food wrapping – away from the stovetop.
If you must leave the kitchen for any period, turn off the stove.
Holiday parties and large family gatherings that were postponed last year because of COVID concerns are great to look forward to, but may add distraction in the kitchen, warns Nicholas. “Cooking is such a routine part of our days that it is easy to become complacent about these basic safety steps,” says Nicholas, “but the statistics show that unattended cooking is the number one cause of home cooking fires and casualties.
Whether you are cooking for the holidays or simply preparing an everyday meal, it is important to stay alert and focused on what’s happening on and around your stovetop.”
SERVPRO is an industry leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services. For more fire prevention and fire safety tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPRObuckeye.com, or find us on Facebook. For more information on SERVPRO of Buckeye & West surprise/ Wickenburg, please contact our office team at 623-248-1148