Yuma, Arizona - According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking equipment was the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries, with U.S. fire departments responding to an average of 172,900 home fires per year being cooking related. Stove top fires accounts for 3 out of every 5 of these fires.

Unattended cooking was a factor in one-third (31%) of reported home cooking fires and more than half (53%) of the associated deaths. Frying dominates the cooking fire problem.

Yuma regularly sees cooking related fires. Several of these caused significant damage to homes, but even where damage was minimal, they do serve as reminders to “Watch what you Heat” and never leave things on the stovetop cooking unattended. As we head into the holiday season, remember that Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and the day before Thanksgiving. In 2018 there were 1630 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day alone!

So, never leave things cooking unattended on the stove, keep clutter away from cooking surfaces, and wear clothing without loose dangling sleeves, Also, be sure to 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. Children under 5 years of age are at greatest risk of these scald injuries.

For more information about fire and injury prevention classes we offer, contact the Yuma Fire Department Public Information Office at 928-373-4855.