The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has researched and published statistical research by month from 2007-2011 regarding the types of incidents that cause home fires. The top reported cause has historically been, and continues to be, home cooking, accounting for almost 42% of all reported home structure fires.
In a 2009-2013 study of cooking fires by the NFPA, unattended cooking was the leading factor, with two-thirds of the fires starting from ignition of food or other cooking materials. Thanksgiving was the peak day for home cooking fires.
So as we enter this Holiday Season, some tips for cooking and fire safety:
- Pay attention and be alert when cooking.
- Never leave the room if active stove-top cooking is occurring.
- Keep dish towels, pot holders, and other ignitable materials away from cooking area.
- If frying, keep a properly rated fire extinguisher handy.
- Have other methods handy to put out a grease fire, such as lids to cover pots or pans, salt, or baking soda, in addition to a rated fire extinguisher.
- Don’t attempt to put out a grease or oil fire with water.
- Have a plan or way to turn off cooking appliances in the event of a boil over or inadvertent ignition. Keep your path and area clear so that you can reach switches, plugs, dials, or any other methods to turn off the appliance.
- Turn off burners, ovens, or appliances as soon as cooking is complete.
- Have working smoke detectors (and CO detectors if required).
ARCCA’s engineers are experienced and qualified to handle all of your fire investigation needs, including cases involving kitchen or cooking fires.