Clarendon County Fire Rescue shares tips on reducing fires when cooking, grilling


Clarendon County Fire Rescue was fortunate to have three days of nice weather this past week to conduct annual pump testing. Some staff members and several very beneficial volunteers tested approximately 18 apparatus and their pumps to a gallon-per-minute standard. Supplying the g.p.m. for a period of time, testing the pump, power supply and other systems ensures the equipment is ready for service and minimizes the risk of failure.

With spring here, it's a great time for getting together with family and friends for outdoor activities and cooking good food. Cooking, unfortunately, has continued to be the leading cause of home fires and home injuries even with more effort and resources to prevent them. Although we do not know how many cooking fires were prevented or how many were extinguished with minimum damage and never reported because of those efforts and resources, we will continue to work toward improving outcomes and reducing the number of injuries and deaths.

Following these tips will help reduce cooking fires in your kitchen:

- Stay in the kitchen when cooking. Pay close attention if you are cooking with oil at high temperatures.

- Follow the 3-feet rule. Keep children, pets or anything that might catch fire at least 3 feet from any heat source.

- Keep combustible materials (anything that will burn) away from the stovetop such as paper towels or plates, oven mitts and curtains.

- Have a lid close by to slide over a pan of food that catches fire. Turn the burner off, and let the pan cool before removing the lid.

- Never throw water on a grease fire.

- Wear short sleeves or tight-fitting long sleeves while cooking to avoid them catching fire on the burner.

- Avoid using kitchen appliances if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol.

- Keep the oven door closed and turn off the heat if you have an oven fire.

Grilling will be safer by following these tips.

- Only use grills outside.

- Place grills at least 3 feet away from homes, deck railings and out from under eaves.

- Keep grills clean. Remove grease or fat buildup.

- Always open a gas grill lid before lighting.

- Never leave a grill unattended.

- Follow the 3-feet rule. Keep children, pets or anything that might catch fire at least 3 feet from any heat source.

- Dispose of coals after they have cooled in a metal can.

- Never add charcoal fluid or any flammable liquids to a fire.

Modern technology has led to the availability of residential sprinkler systems, smart burners that limit the temperature to less than the ignition point of most cooking oils and stovetop fire stop that attaches to your vent hood to discharge in the event of a fire.

It is very important to prevent fires and be prepared in case it happens to you!

For these safety tips and more, please visit our website