Maryland State Fire Marshal
Martin O’Malley Governor
William E. Barnard State Fire
KITCHEN FIRES REMAIN THE LEADING CAUSE OF HOME FIRES IN MARYLAND THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL OFFERS SAFE COOKING ‘RECIPES’ TO HELP PROTECT MARYLANDERS PIKESVILLE, MD (May 30, 2012) – Year after year, too many homes are damaged and residents injured as a result of one of Marylanders most essential and pleasurable activities: Cooking. The pursuit of a home-cooked meal remains a leading cause of home fires in Maryland and nationwide, according to State Fire Marshal William E. Barnard. “Cooking fires remain one of the most difficult issues we face. We have made less headway in preventing cooking fires than in preventing other kinds of home fires.” said the State Fire Marshal. Distractions and forgetfulness are the key ingredients to cooking fires in the home. In most cases, the cook goes to another room because of: children, phone calls, visitors, television or any other number of interruptions and forgets about the food on the stove or in the oven. This leads to potential injuries from fighting a cooking fire or even the loss of your home. If the fire is small and contained to the cookware; place a lid on it to smother the fire, turn off the heat source and allow it to cool completely before trying to remove it. If the fire is in the oven; close the door, turn off the heat source and allow it to cool prior to removal. Never use water on a grease fire, water can cause the fire to spread. When in doubt, have everyone leave the house immediately, close the door, and then call 911.
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The State Fire Marshal offers these ‘safety recipes’ during cooking: •
Never leave cooking food unattended.
Roll up sleeves and control loose clothing. Loose clothing can catch on fire and possibly cause cookware to tip over.
• Establish a three foot, “no kids and pets zone” around the stove. • Keep handles turned in to help prevent spills. • Always use dry oven mitts or potholders. The heat from hot cookware could turn trapped moisture into steam and cause scald burns. •
Keep potholders, towels, food packaging and other clutter off of the stovetop.
Keep the cooking equipment clean; built up grease, food crumbs and prior spills can catch on fire.
• Do not place cookies or candy over the stove area. This will reduce the attraction kids may have for climbing over cooking equipment. Two additional and necessary steps in fire safety when protecting your family is to ensure your home is equipped with working smoke alarms and you practice your home escape plan in the event of a fire. The State Fire Marshal adds a final reminder; “When preparing every meal, make sure you use these ‘recipes for safe cooking’ to avoid a potential tragedy.”
### Media contact: Bruce D. Bouch, Deputy State Fire Marshal; 443-324-6876 The Office of the State Fire Marshal is an agency of the Department of State Police dedicated to helping protect citizens from fire and explosion through a comprehensive program of education, inspection, investigation and fire protection engineering. For more information on fire safety call 1-800-525-3124, log onto our website at: www.mdsp.org/firemarshal and/or follow us on Facebook under “Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal”.
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