Cooking Safety

While cooking is a fun activity for children and parents, it's also a leading cause of house fires. To keep unintentional injuries out of your kitchen, follow these simple steps to prevent kitchen fires and burns.

  • Stay in the kitchen while cooking. If you must leave the kitchen briefly, turn down the heat on appliances and return to the kitchen quickly.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire, such as dishtowels, paper or plastic bags or curtains at least three feet away from the range top.
  • Douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before dumping them in the trash.
  • Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing when cooking (such as long open sleeves) which can be ignited by hot burners.
  • If clothes do catch fire, "Stop, Drop and Roll" by dropping immediately to the ground and rolling over and over or back and forth to put out the flames.
  • Cool the burned area with cool water and seek medical attention for serious burns.
  • Always turn pot handles inward to prevent small children from reaching and pulling down a hot pan.
  • Keep hot items, such as hot beverages and trays that have just come out of the oven away from the edge of counters, so that children are not able to reach them.
  • Hot liquid and food burns often occur when children pull hanging tablecloths or placemats. Use tablecloths and decorations with care.
  • Food cooked in a microwave can be dangerously hot. Remove the lids or other coverings from microwaved food carefully to prevent steam burns.
  • Keep children and pets away from the range when anyone is cooking and keep a close eye on them at all times.
  • To prevent burns and scalds from hot tap water, keep your water heater set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
  • Store knives and other sharp objects out of the reach of children and make sure children are a safe distance away when you are using knives to avoid injuries.
  • Post emergency numbers in visible areas.

More information available from Texas Department of Insurance.

Download our safety tip sheet.

Prevent Scalding Injuries