According to Brady, many fires are preventable by simply being more attentive to the use of cooking materials and equipment.
Now the county fire department has partnered with the United State Fire Association (USFA) in an effort to prevent fire disasters. They offer the following cooking safety tips:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you're cooking.
- Stay alert! To prevent cooking fires, you have to be alert. You won't be if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.
- Keep anything that can catch fire - potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains - away from your stove-top.
- Keep the stove-top, burners, and oven clean.
- Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire if it comes into contact with a gas flame or electric burner.
- Plug microwave ovens and other cooking appliances directly into an outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance, as it can overload the circuit and cause a fire.
Another word of caution: If you like the taste of fried turkey and plan on frying one yourself, Brady has a word of caution that might make you reconsider.
"There has been an increase in the number of people using turkey fryers. They do make a delicious tasting turkey, however, safety must be of most concern when using these products," Brady said. "While we have seen the number of turkey fryers increase, we have not seen a proportionate amount of fires or injuries, actually, we have seen the number of incidents remain the same and in some cases, decrease. We average about a dozen incidents throughout the year involving turkey fryers. Should you have a kitchen fire its best to leave the residence and call 911."