The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that in 2005, an estimated 164,400 reported U.S. home structure fires involving cooking equipment resulted in 480 deaths, 4,690 civilian injuries, and $876 million in direct property damage.

The kitchen is the main area in the home where fires occur. The following is good advice to follow to minimize the chances of one starting in your kitchen:

  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Keep towels, pot holders and other flammable items away from stove surfaces.
  • Loose clothing can catch fire.  Wear short or close fitting sleeves.
  • Plugging too many appliances into the same outlet may start an electrical fire.
  • Keep cooking surfaces clean to prevent food and grease build-up.
  • Turn handles of pans inward to prevent food spills, or small children reaching up for them.
  • Replace any cracked or frayed cords on appliances.

If you have a cooking fire in your kitchen:

  • Slide a pan lid over flames to smother a grease or oil fire, then turn off the heat and leave the lid in place until the pan cools. Never carry the pan outside.
  • Keep the oven door shut and turn off the heat to smother an oven or broiler fire.
  • For a microwave fire, keep the door closed and unplug the microwave. Call the fire department and make sure to have the oven serviced before you use it again.
  • Make sure you have a multipurpose ABC rated extinguisher in the kitchen and know how to use it.
  • Evacuate the area and call the fire department immediately if the fire does not go out quickly.

NY State Office of Fire Prevention