Prevent Household Fires That Start in the Kitchen

Cooking at home promotes healthy eating, saves money, and can even serve as a stress reliever. Chefs should always factor safety into their craft, since cooking is the leading cause of home fires and injuries.

Over the past decade, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has reported a 31% increase in fires that start in the kitchen. Fire departments respond to approximately 172,900 fires per year involving cooking equipment.

Take precautions to stay safe and protect your home.

Tips to prevent home fires and injuries

  • Don't leave the kitchen while cooking. It's the leading cause for kitchen fires.
  • Keep flammable items away from the stovetop.
  • Unplug countertop appliances when they're not in use.
  • Clean toasters and cooking equipment to eliminate grease and crumbs.
  • Turn everything off when you're finished cooking.
  • Keep handles pointed toward the back of the stove to prevent burn injuries.

Kitchens can be kid-free zones while cooking, so parents may need to leave the kitchen to tend to young children. In this case, turn the stove off but return swiftly, particularly when frying foods with oil or grease.

Keeping smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in or near the kitchen are highly recommended. Because 49% of household fires start from cooking, it's important to have those safety devices close by.

In case of a cooking fire, here are some suggestions for immediate action.

  • Place a lid on top of a burning pan to smother the fire and turn off the stove.
  • If a fire is burning in the oven, keep the door closed and turn off the heat.
  • Use your fire extinguisher to put out the fire.
  • If the fire has spread from the stove or oven, get out of the house and close the door behind you to contain the fire. More than half of the people who were injured or died in kitchen fires attempted to fight the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local fire department.

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NJM Insurance Group’s Commitment to Safety

NJM’s enduring commitment to safety can be traced back to our earliest days — with a focus that has expanded from improving conditions in manufacturing facilities to helping keep customers safe on the roads and at home. NJM is a leader in personal and commercial auto, homeowners, and workers’ compensation insurance.

Our Safety Center pages are filled with tips related to the safety and maintenance of your home and autos. The information contained in these articles should not be construed as professional advice, and is not intended to replace official sources. Other resources linked from these pages are maintained by independent providers; therefore, NJM cannot guarantee their accuracy.