Prevent Kitchen Fires - Safety Tips for Cooking at Home

Published on April 06, 2020

In accordance with Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's Stay At Home Order many Arlingtonians have increased the amount of cooking and baking they're doing at home. If you're spending more time in your kitchen, be aware that unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires. 

Arlington's Fire Prevention Office encourages residents to practice the following basic safe cooking techniques: 

  • Stand by your pan: If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off.   

  • Watch what you are cooking:  Fires start when the heat is too high. If you see any smoke or the grease starts to boil, turn the burner off.  

  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove: That way no one can bump them or pull them over.   

  • Keep a pan lid or baking sheet nearby: Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire.  Never pour water on a grease or oil fire.  

Create and Practice an Escape Plan 

A smoke alarm is the most important safety feature of your home. Properly installed, working smoke alarms provide the early warning you need to safely escape from a fire.

In the event of fire, time is the biggest enemy, and every second counts. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can turn into a major fire. Have escape plans to get out of your home quickly. 

Smoking and Fires 

There has been an uptick in fires recently due to improperly discarded smoking material. If you must smoke, make sure to dispose of smoking materials in a safe manner. 

  • Never smoke in bed 

  • Make sure cigarettes are all the way out before discarding 

    • Use an ashtray or a bucket with sand 

    • Extinguish with water before throwing them into the trash 

    • Do not throw cigarettes butts in mulch beds 

The Arlington County Fire Department's top priority is your safety. Visit thACFD website to learn more about fire safety or call 703-228-4644 with any questions about the safety of your family or your community.