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Maryland State Fire Marshal

News Release Martin O’Malley Governor

Joseph C. Flanagan Acting State Fire Marshal

THE OFFICE OF THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL OFFERS SAFE COOKING ‘RECIPES’ TO HELP PROTECT MARYLANDERS PIKESVILLE, MD (August 28, 2013) – 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. “Cooking fires remain one of the most prominent home fire issues we face. All of us must remain vigilant in our efforts to practice fire safe behavior to protect ourselves, families and friends from the devastating effects of fire.” stated Acting State Fire Marshal Joseph C. Flanagan. Distractions and forgetfulness are the key ingredients to cooking fires in the home. In most cases, the cook goes to another room because of: monitoring children, phone calls, texting, social media activities, visitors, television or any other number of interruptions, and forgets about the food on the stove or in the oven. This then leads to potential injuries from fighting a cooking fire, the destruction of the kitchen area 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. Never use water on a grease fire, water can cause the fire to spread. If the fire is in the oven or other self contained appliance; close the door, turn off the heat source and allow it to cool prior to removal. When in doubt, have everyone leave the house immediately, close the door to the house, and then call 911. Page 1 of 3

The Office of the State Fire recipes’ during cooking:

Marshal offers these ‘safety

• Never leave cooking food unattended. • Roll up sleeves and control loose clothing. Loose clothing can catch on fire and/or possibly cause cookware to tip over. • Establish a three foot, “no kids and pets zone” around the stove. • Keep handles turned inward 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. • If you experience a power outage, make sure to turn off electric burners to avoid having them turned on unexpectedly when service is returned to the home. 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 a fire occurs in your home. 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.” ###

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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: and/or

Media contact: Bruce D. Bouch, Deputy State Fire Marshal; 443-324-6876

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2013 08 28 statewide kitchen fire safety  
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