Cooking safety starts with YOU

Cooking safety starts with YOU


Tips to keep it under control


Cooking is one of the leading causes of home fires and fire injuries. Last year, approximately 42 percent of the residential fires that Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue responded to, began in a kitchen.

October is Fire Prevention Month and this year the National Fire Protection Association campaign, “Cooking safety starts with YOU ─ Pay attention to fire prevention,” works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe when cooking.


TVF&R crews encourage you to minimize your risk of a fire by organizing a safe kitchen and practicing these safe cooking tips:

  • Keep a watchful eye on what you are cooking — never leave cooking unattended.
  • Keep your cooking area clean, including the stovetop, oven, and exhaust fan.
  • Keep dish towels and potholders away from the burners on your stove.
  • Watch your sleeves to prevent them from catching fire or getting caught on pan handles.
  • Cooking oil can ignite quickly. Heat oil slowly and watch it closely.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Store it in an easy-to-reach location and know how to use it. The discharge of a portable fire extinguisher only lasts between eight and 10 seconds.


Put a lid on it.

The easiest way to extinguish a small pan fire is with a pan lid. Turn off the burner and carefully slide a pan lid over the pan from the side. The lid will “smother” the fire, while turning off the burner removes the heat. Do not move the pan until the fire is completely extinguished and the pan is cool. If you do not have a pan lid, you may also use a baking sheet or pizza pan.

Never transfer a burning pan from the stovetop to the sink or out an exterior door. The fire may grow in size and burn you or spread to a countertop, cabinets, or curtains.


Grease & water do not mix

Never pour water on a grease fire. Water causes these fires to explode as the burning material stays on top of the water, causing it to spread and putting you at severe risk of getting burned.

If the fire is large and/or continues to grow, do not attempt to extinguish it. Quickly get everyone outside and immediately call 911 from a cellphone or neighbor’s house.


For additional safety tips, visit