Cooking Safety - Central County Fire & Rescue

Cooking Safety

How to extinguish different firesEvery year thousands of people are injured in home fires, and with cooking being one of the leading causes of these fires it is important to remember safety when you are in the kitchen.

If you have a cooking fire, just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 911 immediately after you leave.

There are different ways to handle a cooking fire depending on its cause:


General cooking safety

  • If you are frying, grilling or broiling food do not leave the kitchen
  • Wear short sleeves, or push up your shirt sleeves, to prevent clothing fires
  • Establish a three-foot child-free safety zone around any cooking appliances.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stovetop, and turn it off when you leave the kitchen, even if it’s for a short period of time.
  • Use a timer when simmering, boiling, baking or roasting food and check it often.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires.

Grease fire

  • Suffocate it. Cover the pan with a lid or cookie sheet and turn off the stove. Never put water on a grease fire; it will only fuel the flames.

Microwave or oven fire

  • Keep the door closed, turn the appliance off and watch the fire. If the flames do not stop within a few minutes, get everyone out of the house and call 911.

Stove fire

  • If the fire is spreading or larger than a watermelon, get everyone out of the house and call 911 before trying to extinguish the blaze with a fire extinguisher.

Additional Resources

U.S. Fire Administration Safe Cooking Safety Tips

National Fire Protection Association Cooking Safety Tips