LAS VEGAS -- The Clark County Fire Department is reminding residents to be safe cooks on Thanksgiving and other upcoming holidays. In Clark County, as in the rest of the country, cooking is the leading cause of home fires.
Nationally, Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for cooking-related fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
“Thanksgiving and other holidays are a great time to enjoy your family, friends and good food, but it’s also a time of year when kitchens are in high use and cooking fires can happen,” Clark County Fire Chief Bertral Washington said.
In Clark County, 23 percent of residential fires originate in kitchens. Fire officials say unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires, and frying is the cooking method that poses the highest risk of fire.
The following safety tips are recommended to prevent cooking fires:
• Do not leave cooking food unattended. Staying in the kitchen is especially important when cooking a turkey in a hot oil bath or deep fryer.
• Always supervise children in cooking areas.
• Keep flammable materials – such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging and towels – away from the stove or barbecue to prevent fires;
• Stay alert. If you are tired or consuming alcohol, don’t cook.
• Don’t forget to turn off your oven, fryer, barbecue and stove-top burners. Every year fires are started when people turn on these items and then forget to turn them off.
• Every kitchen should have a working, multi-purpose fire extinguisher with an ABC rating. Check your fire extinguisher on a regular basis. Replace used, outdated or damaged extinguishers.
If you have a cooking fire:
• On a stove-top fire, if it is safe to do so, turn off the burner, then using caution, place a lid on the pan or pot to smother or extinguish a small fire.
• For an oven fire, turn off the oven. Keep the oven door closed to smother and extinguish the fire.
• Do not use water to extinguish a grease or oil fire. Adding water to a pan of hot oil or grease will cause the burning grease to splash out of the pan and spread the fire. Turn off the stove, fryer or propane tank supply valve, and use a lid, baking soda or fire extinguisher on the flames.
• Don’t take risks with a fire. When in doubt, get out of the home and call 911. Close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Nationally, more than half of all reported home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
-- From news release