There are many benefits to cooking at home. It’s a cheaper and healthier alternative to eating out. However, according to the US Fire Administration, cooking is the leading cause of both residential and non-residential building fires. In addition to compromising your safety, fires leave behind costly and time-consuming damage. That doesn’t mean you have to stop cooking altogether in your Dallas-Fort Worth home. It just means that you should adopt a few safety habits into your cooking routine.

  1. Clean oven and stove top before use. Leftover food and grease can catch on fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2010-2014, two-thirds of all home cooking fires started as a result of food or cooking materials.
  2. If you plan to cook a large meal for family and friends during the upcoming holiday

season, practice beforehand. Practicing will take some pressure off the big day. It will also lower your chances of forgetting a step or safety precaution that could lead to an accident. Each year, Thanksgiving tends to be the peak of home cooking fires.

  1. Never leave your kitchen when a cooking appliance is on. Keep a close eye on pots and pans. Use timers to check food often. Unattended equipment is a top risk factor of a cooking fire.
  2. For most, throwing water on a fire is your first knee jerk reaction. But when dealing with grease fires, that is the last thing you should do. Instead, turn off the heat source and cover the flames with a lid.
  3. Double check that cooking appliances are turned off after every use. One of the leading causes of cooking fires is appliances that are unintentionally left on.
  4. Wear tight-fitting clothing while cooking. Change out of loose clothing to prevent them from catching on fire. Clothing isn’t as likely to cause a cooking fire as other risk factors. However, if your clothes do catch on fire, your injuries will be disproportionately greater.
  5. Teach kids to keep a safe distance from kitchen appliances. Make sure the handles of pots and pans are turned out and back from the burner to prevent curious hands from grabbing them.
  6. When in doubt, go outside and call 911. More than half of non-fatal cooking fire injuries happen while trying to put out a fire.
  7. Keep a fire extinguisher within reach of your kitchen and make sure your smoke detector is functioning properly with working batteries.
  8. If you experience fire or smoke damage, schedule a professional cleaning service immediately. Cleaning the damage yourself can make it worse or be harmful to your health.

ServiceMaster TEAM in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is available 24/7 for your emergency cleanup needs. The faster you contact us, the more damage we can prevent. You can expect us to provide superior results, courteous customer service and conscientious cost controls. Our expert technicians will be on site ready to get your home back to normal within 2 – 4 hours of initial contact.

Photo by: Marcos Calvo Mesa | Dreamstime.com