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Cooking is the Leading Cause of U.S. Home Fires

These fire are responsible for thousands of Injuries every year

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The American Red Cross reminds everyone that cooking is the leading cause of home fires and issues safety steps everyone can follow to avoid one of these blazes. Image for illustration purposes
The American Red Cross reminds everyone that cooking is the leading cause of home fires and issues safety steps everyone can follow to avoid one of these blazes. Image for illustration purposes

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American Red Cross

The American Red Cross reminds everyone that cooking is the leading cause of home fires and issues safety steps everyone can follow to avoid one of these blazes.

Every year, fire departments respond to more than 170,000 home fires caused by cooking. The top reason for these fires is someone leaving the stove unattended while cooking. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking fires caused hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and more than $1 billion in damages each year.

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Cooking brings family and friends together, but this normal, everyday activity can also lead to disaster. To help keep your loved ones safe, the Red Cross offers these 10 steps:

  1. If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, never leave it unattended — stay in the kitchen. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  2. Don’t wear loose clothing or sleeves that dangle while cooking.
  3. If you’re simmering, baking, roasting or broiling food, check it regularly.
  4. Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.
  5. Keep kids and pets away from the cooking area. Make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
  6. Keep anything that can catch fire — potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  7. Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
  8. Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
  9. Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
  10. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year if your smoke alarm requires it.

If you cannot afford to purchase smoke alarms or are physically unable to install one, the Red Cross may be able to help. Contact your local Red Cross for more information.

Download the Red Cross First Aid app for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. Find all of the Red Cross apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN SAVE LIVES Since October 2014, the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, working with community partners, has saved at least 1,928 lives by educating families about fire safety, helping them create escape plans and installing free smoke alarms in high-risk areas across the country. To learn more about the campaign and how you can get involved, visit redcross.org/homefires.

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Information Source: American Red Cross

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