SAFETY TIPS FOR MEN COOKING
So here's some things men can teach the family to keep them safe cooking in the kitchen, and reduce the chance of kitchen accidents:
Never leave a pot or pan of cooking food unattended. Nobody ever decides to have a kitchen fire. They're caused by being distracted, or not paying close enough attention. If you absolutely have to check on the game, separate fighting toddlers, or anything else while something's on the stove, turn it off. Or at least check back frequently, and use a timer to remind you.
If a fire starts in a pot or pan, cover it quickly with a cutting board, a lid or a another pan. The fire will die if you cut off the oxygen. Never throw water on it, which will spatter burning oil or food and spread the fire.
Keep long sleeves and clothes, towels, hot pads and mitts away from the stove, and don’t let anyone lean across a burner. Watch out for robes, PJ's and other clothes that get too near flames or heat.
Be especially careful if you're frying, or using hot oil. Don't leave hot oil unattended. Oil will light up and burn when it reaches a high enough temperature, so watch if it begins to smoke. Remember, oil and water don't mix: when liquids or wet foods touch hot oil, the water will vaporize and splatter oil out of the pan.
Steam can burn skin. The right way to open a lid or hot food or pan – including from the microwave – is to crack it open away from you and let the steam escape before looking in.
Keep handles of pots and pans pointed away from where they can be bumped or grabbed. If people are moving in a hurry, and there's a lot going on, pan handles stand a good chance of getting caught and tossing their contents. And little hands reaching up to see what's on the stove won't know there's danger.
If you have a fire in your microwave, turn it off immediately and keep the door closed. Never open the door until the fire is completely out. Have the oven checked and/or serviced before using it again.
IF YOU HAVE A COOKING FIRE
Here's what the NFPA advises:
Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave. If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out. Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
Having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen is important, but keep in mind fires kill and injure people every year who own extinguishers. Using an extinguisher is not always the right response. Three of every five home cooking fire injuries occur when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
Family members should NOT use a fire extinguisher if: The user isn't sure it's the right extinguisher for the type of fire. Is too nervous or forget how to use it properly*The fire is bigger than a typical trash can. Flames are quickly spreading. The fire looks as though it could block your escape route.
The fire extinguisher should be kept near a room exit, not next to the stove. If you need to use one, you want to have your back to the exit and ready to get out.
Information on what kind of extinguisher to have, and how to use it, can be found at your local fire department, or check the information at What Type Of Fire Extinguisher Should Be In a Home.
* USING A FIRE EXTINGUISHER - from Fire Extinguisher 101
Things can get exciting fast when there's a fire, so handling the extinguisher may not be as simple as when things are calm. Train the family to remember and follow the PASS rule.
P.A.S.S. stands for Pull Aim Squeeze Sweep.
Pull The first step is to pull the pin that keeps the handle from being squeezed.
Aim Aim low at the base of the fire - not at the flames. The goal is to extinguish the fuel that's feeding the fire. This is important. Spraying at the middle or top of the flames could actually spread the fire.
Squeeze Slowly squeeze the handle to spray the contents. Remember a standard fire-extinguisher only has 10 to 30 seconds of spray time.
Sweep Sweep the spray back and forth at the base of the fire. Operate the extinguisher from a safe distance, several feet away, and then move towards the fire once it starts to diminish. Be sure to read the instructions on your fire extinguisher - different fire extinguishers recommend operating them from different distances. Remember: Aim at the base of the fire, not at the flames!!!!
A fire extinguisher is only to be used for small fires. As a rule call 911 or have someone call before you attempt to put out a fire. Even if you manage to put out a small fire yourself call the fire department to have them come check it out.
It is highly recommended by fire prevention experts that you get hands-on training before operating a fire extinguisher. Most local fire departments offer this service.
Once the fire is out, don't walk away! Watch the area for a few minutes in case it re-ignites.