“Cooking is the leading cause of house fires nationally. Two of every five house fires begin in the kitchen,” Edina Fire Marshal Jeff Siems said in a statement. “It’s so easy to be distracted while cooking, but not paying attention while cooking could be a recipe for disaster."
Edina children have until Oct. 31 to participate in the coloring contest by drawing their families in the act of kitchen fire prevention—turning off burners, changing smoke alarm batteries, using baking soda on grease fires.
The contest's winner will get to ride to school on an Edina fire truck.
The Edina Fire Department is offering these tips for preventing kitchen fires:
Be a safe chef in your home by remembering these safety practices and prevent a fire from ever starting:
- Don’t leave your cooking unattended. Checking your email or watching TV can wait until you’ve switched off the burner.
- Keep the cooking area clean to prevent grease buildup.
- Keep flammables away from the stove. Keep curtains, potholders, dishtowels, food packaging and Mom’s recipe cards away from the heat sources.
- Roll up your sleeves, tuck in your shirt, and pin back long hair.
- Heat cooking oil slowly. Be patient with those French fries; heating oil too quickly can easily start a fire.
If A Cooking Fire Starts:
- Water and grease don’t mix. In the event of a grease fire, NEVER POUR WATER ON IT. It will spread. Use a fire extinguisher, or when in doubt, get out and call for help.
- Put a lid on it. If a pan catches fire, slide a lid over the pan and turn off the stove burner. Leave the lid on until it is completely cool.
- Keep the oven or microwave door shut if fire starts. Turn off the heat. If the flames do not go out immediately, get out and call for help.
- Stop, drop, and roll. If your clothes catch fire, smother them on the kitchen floor before getting out of the house.
Safe Cooking With Little Chefs
It may be unavoidable for kids to resist the pleasant smells wafting from the kitchen. Kids often want to help cook, so bear in mind the following tips:
- Enforce a “kid-free zone.” Young children should be kept at least 3 feet away from the stove while older family members are cooking to avoid accidents and spills.
- Use the back burners, and turn pot handles toward the center of the range. This will keep hot items out of a child’s reach and reduce the risk of spills.
- Teach children that hot things can burn.
- Never hold a child while cooking.