The Firemen's Association of the State of New York (FASNY) is announcing a rise in minor kitchen fires across the state due to more people cooking at home during the COVID-19 crisis. Cooking and baking are wonderful way for families to spend down time together, however, with fire departments across the state getting more calls due to kitchen fires, now is a great time to brush up on your home kitchen and cooking fire safety.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, kitchen fires are the number one cause of home fires and are the number one cause of home fire injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.

So, while trying to stay healthy or recuperating from illness, the FASNY and the National Fire Protection Association have some great  cooking safety tips for you to practice:

  • Remain in the kitchen while cooking. Whether you’re frying, grilling, baking or broiling food, it’s always a good idea to supervise cooking directly.  With many working from home, or attending to school-age children that are now home more, it is very easy to become distracted while cooking.
  • Most cooking fires involve the stovetop, so keep anything that can catch fire away from it, and turn off the stove when you leave the kitchen, even if it’s for “just a second.” A second is all it takes for a house fire to start.
  • If you’re simmering, boiling, baking or roasting food, check it regularly and use a timer to remind yourself that you’re cooking.
    For homes with children, have the kids remain outside the kitchen area while food is being prepared. Pets should also be kept out of the kitchen while cooking. The safest chef is an undistracted chef!
  • Avoid loose or dangling clothing when cooking - particularly around the stovetop burners on gas ranges.
  • Make sure your smoke detectors are functioning by pressing the “test” button. If needed, replace the batteries – and if not functioning after testing, install brand-new smoke alarms.

Remember, cooking and baking can be very enjoyable when you follow these tips to keep everyone safe!