BOONE – Boone Fire Department is responding to an increase in fire alarm calls. Cooking is a leading cause of these alarm activations. The fire department would like everyone to be aware of the following statistics. Boone Fire suggests community members should practice cooking safety tips and know what to do in case of a cooking fire.
When home cooking, community members should:
- Be on alert. If a community member is sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
- Community members should stay in the kitchen while they are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
- If a community member is simmering, baking or roasting food, they should check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking and use a timer to remind them that they are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire — clothing, oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from their stovetop. Boone Fire suggests community members should not use a stove as a table/countertop or an oven as a pantry.
If a community has a cooking fire:
- Just get out. When a community member leaves, they should close the door behind them to help contain the fire.
- Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after leaving.
- If a community member tries to fight the fire, they should be sure others are getting out and that they have a clear way out.
- Keep a lid nearby when they’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
Based on 2014-2018 annual averages:
- Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
- Ranges or cooktops account for almost two-thirds (61%) of home cooking fire incidents.
- Unattended cooking is a factor in one-third (31%) of reported home cooking fires and half (48%) of the associated deaths.
- Frying dominates the cooking fire problem.
Homes include one- and two-family homes, apartments — regardless of ownership — and manufactured housing.