FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cooking is the leading cause of reported home fires and home fire injuries, and the second leading cause of home fire deaths. Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. The Springfield Fire Department has responded to 99 accidental residential structure fires since January. Nearly half of these incidents were determined to be cooking fires.
The department offers the following safety tips to prevent cooking fires.
- 42% of cooking fires ignited because of unattended cooking. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food. If you are baking, simmering, or roasting, check on the food regularly and set a timer to remind you to check on food.
- 19% of cooking fires were caused when combustible items were too close to the cooking surface. Items such as cutting boards, cookbooks, wooden utensils, oven mitts, food packaging and towels need to be kept away from your stove top.
- 19% of cooking fires were attributed to stove top grease fires. Always stay in the kitchen when frying on the stove top and keep an eye on what you fry. If you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells, immediately turn off the burner and place a lid on the pan. Smoke is a danger sign that the oil is too hot!
The Springfield Fire Department wishes you and yours a safe and happy holiday season.
For more information, please contact Jeff Prior, division chief for Community Risk Reduction, 417-874-2340