Riverton, Wyoming Fire Department

Cooking Safety

Families spend a lot of time in the kitchen. It is often the favorite place to be together. But many injuries can happen there. To stay safe when you are cooking and eating, here are some tips.

Prevent Cooking Fires

  • Cooking is the number one cause of home fires. The biggest reason is that people start to cook something on the stove and forget it's there.
  • Always stay in the kitchen while cooking on the range, especially when frying food.
  • Keep things that can burn, such as dishtowels, paper or plastic bags, and curtains at least three feet away from the range top.
  • Keep your cooking area clean. Do not let grease build up on the range top, toaster oven or in the oven.

Prevent Burns

  • Keep children and pets away from the range when anyone is cooking and keep a close eye on them at all times. Put tape on the floor around the stove. Teach children to stay away from there.
  • Before you start to cook, roll up sleeves and use oven mitts. Loose-fitting clothes can touch a hot burner and catch on fire.
  • If clothes do catch fire, "Stop, Drop, Roll and Cool" by dropping immediately to the ground, crossing hands over your chest and rolling over and over or back and forth to put out the flames.
  • Cool the burned area with cool water right away and seek medical attention for serious burns.
  • If you can, cook on the back burners.
  • Always turn pot handles toward the back of the range to prevent small children from reaching and pulling down a hot pan.
  • Food cooked in a microwave can be dangerously hot. When you take off the lid or wrap, wear oven mitts and be very careful moving the dish from the oven to the counter. Stir the food and test it before you serve it to children.
  • Keep pans, hot drinks and trays that have just come out of the oven away from the edge of counters and tables where children cannot touch them.
  • Do not use a tablecloth or placemat if very young children are in the home. If children pull on the tablecloth, hot liquid and food can come down and burn them.
  • Hot tap water causes thousands of burns every year. For safer temperatures, keep your water heater set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Other Safety Tips

  • Electrical outlets in the kitchen, and especially near the kitchen sink, should have Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs). This will prevent a dangerous shock. If you don't have them, have an electrician put these in your home.
  • Keep things you use a lot where you can reach them easily. Use a stepladder to get to things on a high shelf.
  • Post emergency numbers in visible areas.


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