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Cooking Safety

Let's Prevent a Cooking Fire

Welcome to our cooking fire safety page, dedicated to keeping you and your loved ones safe while in the kitchen. In Oregon, cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires.

Cooking is an important part of our daily lives but it also presents risks. From stovetop mishaps to oven flare-ups, the kitchen can quickly become a hotspot for dangerous situations. With the right knowledge and precautions, these risks can be minimized, ensuring a safer cooking environment for everyone.

On this page, you'll find essential tips and resources to empower you with the knowledge to prevent cooking-related fires. We cover everything you need to know to lessen risks and enhance kitchen safety.

Whether you're a seasoned chef or just starting your culinary journey, prioritizing safety in the kitchen is essential. Join us in our mission to reduce cooking fires and create a safer cooking experience for everyone in Oregon and beyond. 

Prevent, Prepare, Act

To lower the risk of a kitchen fire, it's key to prevent accidents, prepare in advance, and know how to act if a fire occurs. Here’s how you can manage each step:

  • Prevent: Learn what you should do before you even start cooking. This includes keeping flammable items away from the stove and never leaving cooking food unattended.
  • Prepare: Equip your kitchen with the right safety tools like a fire extinguisher, and ensure smoke detectors are working. Have an escape plan in place for your family.
  • Act: Know the steps to follow if a fire does start, such as turning off the stove if it's safe and using a fire extinguisher on small fires.

Explore the detailed actions on the right side of this page to deepen your understanding of these crucial fire safety procedures.

Hover over the boxes below to learn helpful tops before you start cooking.

  • Keep things that can catch fire away from the stove. 
  • Keep kids and pets at least 3 feet away from stove area. 
  • Avoid loose-fitting clothing while cooking. 
  • Have working smoke alarms  on each level of the home.

  • Stay in the kitchen when frying,  boiling, grilling, or broiling food. 
  • Watch what you heat.  Stay awake and alert while cooking. 
  • Turn pot handles toward  the back of the stove. 
  • Always use a timer to remind  that you’re preparing food.

  • To put out fire in a pan, slide a lid over the pan. Turn off the stove and allow pan to cool before moving the pan. 
  • For fire in microwave or oven, turn off heat. Unplug if possible. Keep the door closed until it has cooled.
  • If a fire continues or spreads, get  outside the home right away. Close  the door behind you. Call 9-1-1 or  fire department from outside.​

image reads: hover over each image to learn how to be fire safe when cooking.

Be on the Lookout!

Keep an eye on what you’re cooking; don’t leave cooking unattended.

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image reads: Cooking is the number one cause of home fires in Oregon.

Keep it Clean

Keep your cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles (potholders, food packaging, towels, etc.) and wipe up surface spills.

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image reads: Fire prevention saves lives.

Be Prepared

Have a lid or cookie sheet within reach while cooking (to smother flames) in case of a fire.

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image reads:  a woman dressed in a chef's uniform.

Own the Zone

Create a three-foot kid- and pet-free zone around the stove.

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What to do if a Fire Sparks

Knowing how to put out a fire in a pan on your stove is crucial for several reasons:

Safety: A fire can escalate quickly, posing significant risks to everyone in your home. Knowing how to extinguish it promptly can prevent injuries and property damage.

Preventing Spread: Fires in pans on stoves have the potential to spread rapidly to nearby flammable materials, such as curtains, cabinets, or other kitchen items. Quick action can contain the fire and prevent it from spreading further.

Damage Control: Fires can cause extensive damage to your kitchen and home if left unchecked. Knowing how to put out a fire can minimize the extent of damage and potentially save valuable property.

Get familiar with the steps below and be prepared with knowledge in case a fire breaks out in your kitchen.

If You Cannot Extinguish the Fire

  • Get you and your family safely out of the house.
  • If you can, close doors as you are escaping to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 from a safe place outside.


Our agency and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have some great resources you can share with your friends and family. Check out the resources below and help us spread the word about cooking fire safety!