Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment. The Ankeny Fire Department would like to offer some safety tips to help keep you safe in the kitchen this holiday season.
Safety tips to prevent kitchen fires and burns:
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
- Be on alert! Don’t use the stove or stovetop if you are sleepy or tired.
- Attend to your cooking. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, broiling, or boiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you are baking, simmering, or roasting food, check it regularly and remain in the home while food is cooking.
- Use a timer to remind you that food is cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains – away from your stovetop.
- Make sure your home has working smoke detectors.
If you do have a small kitchen fire, and decide to fight the fire, do the following:
- On the stovetop, fight a small grease fire by sliding a lid or cookie sheet over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
- For a microwave fire, keep the door closed, turn the microwave off, and unplug if able to.
- Make sure you have a working fire extinguisher in your house for small fires. Always be 6-8 feet away from the fire, and have your back to an exit. To use a fire extinguisher, remember PASS:
- Pull the pin to activate the handle lever
- Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire
- Squeeze the handle
- Sweep back and forth from side to side.
If you have any doubt about fighting a fire:
- Get your family out of the house. Close doors behind you as you leave to contain the fire.
- Call 911 from outside the home. In a multi-family residence, close the door behind you and activate the fire alarm system on your way out.