Cooking

Cooking tips

Fires can easily start in your kitchen. Follow these tips to keep your kitchen safe!

  • Never Leave Cooking Unattended! Never leave home when a microwave oven, stove burner, or oven is on. Keep a close eye on what you're cooking.

  • Keep Your Cooking Area Clean. Many items in the kitchen can catch fire easily including pot holders, dish towels, and product packaging. Keep curtains away from the stove and clean up all spills on the stove top or near by counters.

  • Clean your oven regularly. Many kitchen fires start because of built up grease.

  • Kids & Pets Should Stay Clear. There is an imaginary kid-free zone one metre around your kitchen stove. Enforce it strictly. Also keep pets from running around underfoot. They might cause you to trip when you're holding or near to something very hot.

  • Always Turn Pot Handles In! It is too easy for a child to reach up and grab or hit a pot or pan handle that's sticking out over the edge of the stovetop. Scalding injuries can be quite serious.

  • Don't Overload Electrical Outlets. This means the notorious "outlet octopus" must be avoided. That's when several electrical cords are plugged into the same outlet. Avoid plugging more than one appliance into an outlet. There should not be more than two operating appliances plugged into the same circuit. Heat generating appliances such as toasters and electric frying pans use a lot of current. If you overload the circuit, it will get hot and possibly short out or catch fire. Have damaged cords or outlets fixed immediately. If water gets into an electrical appliance, have it serviced before you use it again.

  • Watch Your Sleeves. Be mindful of what you're wearing while cooking. Loose sleeves over hot stove burners can catch fire. Wear clothing with snug cuffs or roll up the sleeves. If you store things above your stovetop, your clothing could catch fire when you lean over stove burners to reach up.

  • If a fire starts in your oven or microwave oven, keep the door closed to prevent air from feeding the flames. Turn the appliance off or pull the plug. If the flames don't die out quickly, call Fire Services using 911.

  • Always Be Alert! Don't cook if you're under the influence of alcohol. The same goes if you're drowsy from medication or fatigue.

Cooking with Oil

If you are using cooking oil, heat it slowly and never leave the pot or pan unattended. Keep close at hand a large lid that would fully cover any cooking vessels on the stove. If the oil or grease should catch fire, the lid can be put over the flames to smother them. Never try to put out an oil or grease fire with water. It will spatter, possibly spreading the fire.

Please watch this video and see the danger of trying to put out a grease fire with water!

Turkey Fryers

A turkey fryer is a large pot above a propane burner and inside the turkey is immersed in hot oil. These fryers use a large quantity of cooking oil at very high temperatures and can pose a number of dangers such as:

  • Hot oil may splash or spill at any point during the cooking process, when the fryer is jarred or tipped over, the turkey is placed in the fryer or removed, or the turkey is moved from the fryer to the table. Any contact between hot oil and skin could result in serious injury. Any contact between hot oil and nonmetallic materials could lead to serious damage.

  • A major spill of hot oil can occur with fryers designed for outdoor use and using a stand as these units are particularly vulnerable to upset or collapse, followed by a major spill of hot oil. Newer countertop units using a solid base appear to reduce this particular risk.

  • In deep frying, oil is heated to temperatures of 350 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Cooking oil is combustible, and if it is heated beyond its cooking temperature, its vapors can ignite. This is a fire danger separate from the burn danger inherent in the hot oil. Overheating can occur if temperature controls, which are designed to shut off the fryer if the oil overheats, are defective, or if the appliance has no temperature controls.

  • Propane-fired turkey fryers are designed for outdoor use, particularly for Thanksgiving, by which time both rain and snow are common in many parts of the country. If rain or snow strikes exposed hot cooking oil, the result can be a splattering of the hot oil or a conversion of the rain or snow to steam, either of which can lead to burns. Use of propane-fired turkey fryers indoors to avoid bad weather is contrary to their design and dangerous in its own right. Also, moving an operating turkey fryer indoors to escape bad weather is extremely risky. Fires have occurred when turkey fryers were used in a garage or barn or under eaves to keep the appliance out of the rain.

  • The approximately 5 gallons of oil in these devices introduce an additional level of hazard to deep fryer cooking, as does the size and weight of the turkey, which must be safely lowered into and raised out of the large quantity of hot oil. Many turkeys are purchased frozen, and they may not be fully thawed when cooking begins. As with a rainy day, a defrosting turkey creates the risk of contact between hot cooking oil.

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