For many families, the kitchen is a gathering place, especially during the holidays. Unfortunately, the kitchen is also where two out of five home fires start, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).
There are steps you can take, however, to make sure your kitchen remains a safe place this holiday season. The ESFI provides several safety tips:
- Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of home cooking fires. Never leave the kitchen without turning off the stove burners first.
- Never leave children in the kitchen unsupervised.
- Keep the stovetop and oven clean. Make sure any grease and dust are removed. Don’t forget to clean the exhaust hood and duct over the stove regularly.
- Don’t store flammable items near cooking areas. Be sure towels, napkins and pot holders are not near the stovetop.
- Loose-fitting clothing can catch fire. When you cook, it’s a good idea to wear short or close-fitting sleeves.
- Families with little children should put cooking pots on back burners or turn pot handles inward, out of reach of small hands.
- Never store electrical appliances near the sink. Plug countertop appliances into outlets with built-in ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection. Keep cords away from stoves, toasters or other hot surfaces. Turn off and unplug appliances that are not in use.
The National Fire Protection Association has more about cooking safety.