Fire Safety in the Kitchen
By Firefighter Joe Birch
October 6, 2023

Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and fire-related injuries in the home. Whether you're preparing a meal or making a quick snack, practicing safe cooking in the kitchen can help keep members of your household safe.


• Never leave your stove unattended while cooking. Stay in the kitchen while you're frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food. If you have to leave the room—even for just a moment—turn off the stove.
• Keep your cooking area free of combustible materials. Keep anything that can catch fire, such as food packaging, oven mitts and towels, away from your stovetop.
• Create a kid-free zone. Create a space of at least three feet around your stove and other areas where hot food is prepared.
• Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. This way, they can’t be bumped into and children can’t grab them.
• Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Make sure you have the correct type of extinguisher and know how to properly use it.
• Keep cooking equipment clean. Crumbs in a toaster, built-up grease on the stovetop, and excess dust behind your appliances are fire hazards.
• Wear short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves. Loose clothing can catch fire if it comes in contact with a gas flame or electric burner.
• Never throw hot grease in the garbage. Let grease cool before disposing of it in the garbage. Never pour grease or oil down the drain.
• Avoid using kitchen appliances if you're sleepy or have consumed alcohol.


By practicing safe cooking in the kitchen, you can help reduce the risk of fire or injury. If a fire does occur, it's important to be prepared.

• Your safety comes first. If you cannot safely extinguish a fire, get outside quickly, close the door behind you to contain the fire, and call 9-1-1.
• Smother grease fires. To smother a small grease fire, slide a lid over the pan, turn off the stovetop, and leave the pan covered until it's completely cooled.
• Keep oven and microwave fires contained. Turn off the heat and keep the door closed until the flames are completely out.