Cooking Safely
In the city of Homewood, cooking fires are the number one cause of structure fires. Learning to cook safely can prevent injury to you or others and can also prevent damage to your home. The Thanksgiving cooking season is approaching fast and Fire Chief John Bresnan would like to pass along some cooking safety tips.

• Never use a charcoal, gas or wood burning grill or a turkey fryer inside your home or garage.
• Turn on the hood exhaust fan when using your stove or oven in order to prevent carbon monoxide build-up.
• Make sure that your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are tested and change their batteries regularly.
• Stay by the stove when a burner is on. A stove fire can erupt quickly, so it is important that you are near it to put out the flames.
• If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove.
• Don’t wear loose fitting clothing while cooking. Loose clothing could easily brush against a flame and catch fire.
• Turn pot handles away from the front of the stove and away from traffic. This tip will prevent one’s elbow from knocking against the handle and spilling food, or even worse, hot oil or fat onto you or the burner.
• Clean the grease off the stove and hood regularly.
• Heat oil gradually. Never pour oil into a hot pan, because it can burst into flames within seconds. It is safer to pour oil into the pan before you turn the burner on.
• If grease or oil in the pan ignites, smother the fire with a fire extinguisher, a lid or baking soda and turn off the stove. Never use water, which causes grease fires to spread.
• Maintain a dry chemical (ABC) fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location in your kitchen.