Kitchen Fires Spark Fire Safety Reminder
November 13th, 2015
Gwinnett County firefighters worked three minor kitchen fires Tuesday. Here are ways to avoid it happening to you.
By SCOTT BERNARDE (Patch Staff)
November 10, 2015
The Gwinnett County fire department was preaching safety around cooking appliances after three minor kitchen fires were reported Tuesday.
All were reported just a few hours apart in the Norcross, Buford and Lawrenceville areas.
Here’s a synopsis of the incidents from Gwinnett Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge.
Firefighters responded at 9:40 a.m., to a report of an apartment fire on Buford Highway, NW in Norcross. Crews found a small fire on the stove that was smoldering on arrival. Firefighters quickly completed extinguishment and worked to remove light smoke from the apartment. The fire caused minor damage to the stovetop and a pot of grease that was left unattended. The cause of the fire is accidental. There were no injuries reported and no damage to the structure. The scene was turned over to apartment management and maintenance personnel.
Firefighters responded at 10:52 a.m., to a report of a house fire on Springbluff Lane, NE in Buford. Crews found a small fire in the oven that was smoldering on arrival. The fire was contained to debris in the oven and was quickly extinguished by firefighters. The fire caused minor damage to the appliance and sent light smoke throughout the house. The fire appears accidental and was sparked by debris that were ignited during the preheating mode. There were no injuries reported and no damage to the structure.
Firefighters responded at 1:59 p.m., to a report of a house fire on Hearth Place, NW in Lawrenceville. Crews found light smoke showing on arrival and a small fire in the kitchen. The fire appears accidental and was sparked by food left unattended on the stove. The occupant was briefly distracted by a child and left the room for only a few seconds. She returned to find the kitchen filling with smoke and the pot ablaze. The flames were quickly extinguished by first arriving firefighters and smoke was cleared from the structure. There was minor damage to the stovetop and cabinets and light smoke throughout the house. There were no injuries reported and no major damage to the structure.
“These types of incidents are an important reminder of the fact that proper cooking practices and kitchen fire safety is paramount,” said Rutledge, who added cooking is among the leading causes of residential fires in Gwinnett County and across the country.
Important safety tips to remember when cooking at home (From Gwinnett Fire):
- If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, remember to check it regularly. Use a timer to remind you that something is on the stove or in the oven. Never leave the house when cooking.
- Turn the stove burners off if you have to leave the kitchen or the house for any period of time or when going to sleep.
- Keep anything that could catch on fire, like – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains away from the stovetop, oven or any other heat producing appliance in the kitchen.
- Never wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. Remember to Stop, Drop and Roll, if your clothes catch fire. Cool a burn injury with water until the pain goes away
- Never attempt to cook if you are extremely tired (sleepy) or if you’ve consumed too many alcoholic beverages.
- Keep children and pets a safe distance away from the oven or stove when cooking. Create a “kids-free zone” around cooking appliances that produce heat or have an open flame. Turn pot handles-in (or to the side), so they can’t be easily tipped-over or grabbed by a small child.
- Use a lid cover or portable fire extinguisher to douse a small fire on the stovetop. Never put water on a grease fire; and never attempt to remove a pan of hot grease from the stove. Splattering grease can cause a serious burn injury or may even cause the fire to spread.
Home fire safety tips (From Gwinnett Fire):
- Install and maintain working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in the home. Place smoke alarms on every level of the home and in each of the bedrooms.
- Develop a home fire escape plan and practice fire drills with the entire family.
- Get Out-Stay Out! Call 9-1-1 from outside the burning building. Never attempt to go back inside during a fire.
For additional information on safe cooking practices or home fire safety, please contact the Gwinnett Fire-Community Risk Reduction Division at 678.518.4845 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The department offers free home safety surveys and smoke alarm checks as part of its community outreach programs.