SFMO Reminds Consumers To Stand By Your Pan This Winter

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Winter weather and recent heavy rains across the Volunteer State has many Tennesseans staying indoors instead of heading out to grab a bite to eat. The Tennessee State Fire Marshal's Office reminds consumers to always "stand by your pan" when cooking in order to avoid a potential kitchen-related tragedy.

Cooking is currently the leading cause of home fires in Tennessee. From 2014-2018, 9,361 residential cooking fires were reported in the state, resulting in 52 civilian deaths, 245 civilian injuries and $46.1 million in property damages. Unattended cooking equipment was the leading contributing factor (21.8 percent) to the cause of these fires.

To help Tennesseans avoid the devastation of stovetop fires, the SFMO offers the following fire safety tips:

*Never pour water on a grease fire.

*Keep children and pets at least three feet away from cooking areas.

*If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don't use the stove or stovetop.

*If you are baking or roasting, use a kitchen timer to remind you when the food is done cooking.

*Always stand by your pan if you are frying, grilling, or broiling. If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stovetop.

*If a small fire starts in a pan on the stove, put on an oven mitt and slide a lid or cookie sheet over the pan to smother the flames. Do not remove the lid or cookie sheet until the fire is out and the pan is completely cool.

*If possible, avoid discharging a fire extinguisher onto a pan fire. It can shoot burning grease around the kitchen, spreading the fire and causing burns.

*If a pan is on fire, do not try to carry it away from the stove. The oil or grease can splash out causing burns. In addition, carrying the pan can feed more oxygen to the already burning fire.

*If the fire does not go out, get everyone out of the home, close all doors behind you as you exit, and call the fire department from outside using a cell phone or a neighbor's phone.

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