Yuma, Arizona - U.S. Fire Departments responded to an estimated annual average of 156,600 cooking-related fires between 2007-2011, resulting in 400 civilian deaths, 5,080 civilian injuries and $853 million in direct damage.
- Two of every five home fires started in the kitchen.
- Unattended cooking was the most frequent cause.
- Two-thirds of home cooking fires started with ignition of food or other cooking materials.
- Microwave ovens are one of the leading home products associated with scald burn injuries not related to fires.
- Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of home cooking fires, but these incidents accounted for 15% of the cooking fire deaths.
- Children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking and hot food and drinks than being burned in a cooking fire.
- So, never leave things cooking on the stove unattended, keep clutter away from cooking surfaces, wear clothing without loose dangling sleeves, have a “Kid Free Zone” of at least 3 feet from cooking surfaces and always turn pot handles toward the back of the stove to prevent children from grabbing handles and spilling hot stuff onto themselves.
Just this week alone we have had two fires in homes that were cooking fires. In one case the damage to the house was significant enough that the home could not be reoccupied until after repairs could be made. Fortunately, there were no injuries involving these fires, but they do serve as reminders to “Watch what you Heat” and never leave stove top cooking unattended.