Emergency Preparedness Committee – Fire Safety

Kitchen Fires—Keep an Eye on what you Fry: It would be such an easy fix if all cooking fires were prevented by someone being in the room—staying in the kitchen and watching your cooking surfaces significantly reduces kitchen fires. As with anything, there are other ways to make certain a kitchen is safe for cooking and entertaining events:

■■ Always keeps items that can catch fire away from cooking surfaces. These items could include, but are not limited to pot holders, paper towels, loose clothing, cutting boards, plastic utensils and accessories.

■■ “Keep it Clean” is a motto we teach about preventing kitchen fires. Wiping off splattered grease or spilled food on the stovetop burners and the oven decreases any potential fire hazards.

■■ Always open the oven door to make sure it’s empty before you turn it on. It is important to use your oven just for cooking. Using the oven as a storage facility is a recipe for a fire.

If people heed the safe cooking tips listed above, cooking fires would be obliterated for good. But, what if there is a fire? Remember the following three steps:

■■ Turn off the heat (as long as knobs are on the front of the stove).

■■ Have a pot/skillet lid in easy reach. Cover the pan with the lid to suffocate the fire. Danger: If you attempt to move the pan or pour water on an oil or grease fire, this will cause severe burns, make the fire bigger and spread it faster.

■■ Get out! Evacuate and call 9-1-1.

For more of the Orange County Fire Authority’s Safety Resources, visit www.ocfa.org. (Angela Garbiso, OCFA)

—Kent Wellbrock

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