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Food on the stove

There’s a good chance that this Sunday’s square-off between the Philadelphia Eagles and the reigning NFL champs, the New England Patriots, will be the most-watched Super Bowl of all time. Last year 113.7 million people watched in combined television and online viewing. Since then, more streaming options have become available. Lots of people viewing the extravaganza means lots of cooking and food preparation in the kitchen. Be sure to put fire safety in your line up.

Kitchen Huddle

Prepare your cooking area. Keep anything that can catch fire–oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains–away from the stovetop. Have a kid-free zone of at least three feet (1 metre) around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

Penalty Flag

The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, boiling, broiling, or grilling food. If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly. Use a timer to remind you that you are cooking. Many smart phones come with a timer.


Stay awake. Be on alert while cooking. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop. If you have a small grease fire and decide to fight a fire on the stovetop, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning the burner off. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.


Share these and other NFPA cooking safety tips with your family and friends.

Graphs and charts and statistics about candle firesImage of a lit candle followed by bullet points on safe use of candlesBurning candles in an apartment building bedroom in Princeton, New Jersey, was likely the cause of a recent fire that killed one person and displaced more than 30 people. According to news reports, Princeton Police Chief Nicholas K. Sutter stated, “Though the cause will be officially labeled ‘undetermined,’ we feel that more than likely candles burning in the bedroom were the cause.” A 73-year-old tenant died in the blaze. Meanwhile, 17 households that could not find other accommodations were sent to an extended-stay hotel that Princeton Community Housing is providing for them. The apartment building will be reconstructed, a process that could take 10 months. According to NFPA’s new Candle Fire Fact Sheet, three of every five (59%) candle fires start when something that could burn, such as furniture, mattresses or bedding, curtains, or decorations, was too close to the candle. In 16% of the fires the candles were unattended or abandoned. Sleep was a factor in 11% of the fires and 21% of the candle fire deaths. The fact sheet has additional statistics. The Candle Safety tip sheet provides a list of precautions.

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