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KITCHEN FIRESputting a lid on a fiery stovetop skillet

Kitchen fires are the most common type of fire in Snohomish County and across the country. The holidays are a great time for cooking with family - but be aware of these sobering statistics:

  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking equipment was involved in almost half (48%) of all reported home fires and tied with heating equipment as the second leading cause of home fire deaths.

Kitchen safety tips

  • Kitchen fires can start and spread in seconds. Stay in the kitchen when cooking, especially when using grease or when cooking food at high temperatures.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • When using the stove, wear tight-fitting clothes or rolled up sleeves. Loose or dangling clothing can easily catch fire.
  • Keep combustible items such as dishcloths, paper towels and pot holders a safe distance from the stove.  

Stovetop fires - Put a lid on it!

  • Keep proper-fitting lids close by for each pot or pan you have on the stove. If a pot or pan catches fire, put a lid on it to smother the flames.
  • Do not attempt to move a flaming pot or pan away from the stove, as that may fan the flames and spread the fire.
  • Never try to put a grease fire out with water. If possible, cover the pan with a lid to smother the flames; use baking soda on shallow grease fires.
  • If you can't control the fire immediately, get yourself and your family out fast, and call 911.

These and other tips on home cooking safety may be found on the National Fire Protection Association website.