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Help Prevent Grease and Dryer Fires

March 5, 2015 - Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

Oil is a key ingredient found in the majority of today’s kitchens. Whether a recipe calls for frying or sautéing, we include oil in almost all of our daily cooking. When using any of the many oils to prepare your meals, like olive, canola, corn or soybean, consider the following safety tips when cooking: 

  • Always stay in the kitchen when frying on the stovetop.
  • Keep an eye on what you fry. If you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells, immediately turn off the burner and/or carefully remove the pan from the burner. Smoke is a danger sign that the oil is too hot.
  • Heat the oil slowly to the temperature you need for frying or sautéing.
  • Add food gently to the pot or pan so the oil does not splatter.
  • Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.
  • If the fire does not go out or you don’t feel comfortable sliding a lid over the pan, get everyone out of your home. Call the fire department from outside.

A study found that 75% of range or stove fires started with food ignitions; 43% percent began with cooking oil; 33% started with fish or meat; 63% of the range or stove fires beginning with food occurred when someone was frying.

One out of every four home fires reported in 2007-2011 started with fat or grease. One out of every three reported fire injuries resulting from these fires.

Dryers are the cause of many residential fires; residents should be reminded that staying in the home while using these appliances is extremely important.

Clothes dryers are prone to lint build up; lint is a highly combustible residual product of the drying process that tends to build up in exhaust ducting. Transition hose and metal ducting should be inspected and cleaned on a regular basis.

It is strongly recommended that wire bound vinyl ducting not be used. Vinyl ducts often collapse causing blockage and lint accumulation within the dryer. Solid metal ductwork is the preferred method of venting dryers for these reasons and will have better odds of containing fire.

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For further information, please contact:

Ron Woolfrey
CKL Fire Rescue Service
Public Education
705 324 5731 ext. 586

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