Kitchen Fire Prevention

Kitchen Fire Brochure (PDF)
(English and Spanish)

Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires. To reduce your risk:

  • Never leave food unattended on the stovetop - turn off burners or set a timer if you leave the room for any reason.
  • Heat cooking oil slowly and never leave unattended. Turn down the heat if it begins to smoke.
  • Keep combustibles away from the stovetop and keep your cooking area clean.
  • If you experience a stovetop fire and the fire is large or appears to be growing, do not attempt to extinguish. Leave the house quickly and call 9-1-1 from a cell phone or neighbor's house. However, if the fire is still in the pan or oven and has not spread to nearby counters or cabinets, you may be able to extinguish it yourself through one of the following methods.

To Extinguish a Pan or Oven Fire:

  • 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. 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.
  • Use a fire extinguisher only if the fire is small and has not spread outside the pan. The discharge of a portable fire extinguisher lasts between 8 and 10 seconds.
  • Shut the door on oven or microwave fires and turn off the heat.

*Note: NEVER transfer a burning pan from the stovetop to the sink or out the back door. The fire may grow in size, burn you or spread to countertop. Also, never pour water on a grease fire. The flames will "splash," causing the fire to spread and likely result in burns to your body.