Kitchen fires can be prevented |

Kitchen fires can be prevented

Every year in California, firefighters respond to residential structure fires that take lives and cause millions of dollars in damage. Through Saturday, Cal Fire is teaming with the National Fire Prevention Association for Fire Prevention Week to educate Californians on the simple steps they can take to help protect their family from the most common cause of residential fires.

According to the latest research, unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen — more than any other place in the home.

Cooking fires are also the leading cause of fire-related home injuries.

Here are a few important cooking safety tips that will help keep your family safe:

— Have a 3-foot “kid free” zone around the stove.

— Stand by your pan and keep an eye on what you fry. If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off.

— Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove, then no one can bump them or pull them over.

— Have a fire extinguisher 10 feet from the stove on the exit side of the kitchen.

— Never pour water on a grease fire; turn the stove off and cover the pan with a lid or close the oven door.

— Keep anything that can catch fire — potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains — away from your stovetop.

— If your clothing should catch fire, immediately stop, drop and roll to smother flames.

— Scalds and burn injuries are on the increase. The most at-risk are the very young and the elderly.

For more fire safety tips, visit

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