CHICAGO (WMBD)– As part of the 101st Fire Prevention Week, Illinois Firefighters along with the Illinois State Fire Marshall are getting the word out on cooking safety in the kitchen.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking remains the leading cause of house fires and the leading cause of house fire injuries.

“In Illinois alone, fire departments responded to over 400 incidents related to cooking or kitchens during 2022. It’s important that people never leave food cooking unattended and are following all the proper safety steps to decrease their risks of fires or injuries,” said Illinois State Fire Marshal James A. Rivera.

He continued, “Fire Prevention Week is a great time for families to sit down and review their fire escape plans, go over where their meeting spot is located, and hold a fire escape drill. By reviewing and practicing these plans, families will be better prepared in the event of a fire.”

Below are cooking and kitchen safety tips that can prevent accidents from occurring:

  • Always keep a close eye on what you’re cooking. For foods with longer cook times, such as those that are simmering or baking, set a timer to help monitor them carefully.
  • Clear the cooking area of combustible items and anything that can easily burn, such as dish towels, oven mitts, food packaging, and paper towels.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner.
  • Create a “kid and pet-free zone” of at least three feet around the cooking area and anywhere else hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

Fire Prevention Week concludes on Oct. 14.