Office of the State Fire Marshall encourages residents to follow
safe cooking practices
Cooking fires rank second as cause of
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[May 03, 2014]
SPRINGFIELD – The Office of the State
Fire Marshal (OSFM) is taking the lead in educating Illinois
residents to practice safe cooking habits to prevent home fire
tragedies. Unattended cooking continues to be a top cause of home
fires and injuries since 1990. Since 2011, cooking fires have ranked
second as the cause of home fires, according to the National Fire
“While the numbers are decreasing, it continues to be our
commitment to remind residents about the potential dangers of
leaving cooking unattended,” said State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis.
“With working parents, more underage children and teens are cooking
their own meals, which could present some dangers if children are
not well trained to follow basic safety tips.”
According to statistics from the National Fire Incident Reporting
System, more than 5,200 cooking related fires were reported in
Illinois between 2010 and 2012. Those fires resulted in the death of
40 civilians, 337 injuries and a total dollar loss of close to $78
In 2011, an estimated 156,300 home fires linked to cooking were
reported in the U.S. Those fires caused 470 deaths, 5,390 injuries
and about $1.0 billion in direct property damage.
OSFM recommends the following safety tips to avoid cooking fires:
- Stay in the kitchen while you are cooking, frying, grilling,
or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for a short
period of time, turn off the stove.
- Remain in the home while simmering, baking, roasting or
- For a safer cooking time, use a timer if necessary.
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- Keep anything that can catch fire away from your
stovetop, such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food
packaging, towels or curtains. Wear short sleeves or tight
fitting clothes while cooking to prevent burns.
- Keep a lid nearby when you are cooking to smother small
grease fires, then turn off the stovetop and leave the pan
covered until it is completely cooled.
In case of a cooking fire:
- Get out of the house, and stay out.
- Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after getting out
of the house.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door
For more information about cooking safety tips please visit
www.sfm.illinois.gov or www.nfpa.org.
[Text from file received]