New Canaan Fire Marshal Cautions Cooking Safety

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The following is a message from New Canaan Fire Marshal Fred Baker.

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – The New Canaan Fire Department responded to a reported appliance fire Saturday. Upon arrival, the fire had been extinguished, but the homeowner suffered burns on his hands after carrying a burning pot of cooking oil to the exterior of the home. 

Fortunately, the burns were minor, and the family was very lucky because they were alerted to the burning pan by their smoke detectors. 

The following is a list of tips to remind residents to be safe while cooking:

  • If warming cooking oil (or anything else for that matter), set a timer for five minutes to remind you to come back if you get distracted.
  • If a fire occurs, alert other occupants and call 911.
  • If you feel comfortable doing so, use the lid – or a cookie sheet – to smother the flames. Use an oven mitt to protect your hand. Never try to carry a burning pot to the sink or the exterior. This could prove disastrous.
  • Never let a fire get between you and your escape route.
  • If you use a fire extinguisher, do not get too close. The force of the extinguishing agent may splash the contents of the pan, spreading the fire.  Start about six feet away and move in if safe to do so.
  • Always call 911 to report the fire – even if you think it is out.  They can verify that all remaining hot spots are fully extinguished.
  • Always have properly installed and operating smoke detectors in your home or apartment.

For questions regarding cooking safety or any other fire safety topic, contact the New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Office at (203) 594-3030.

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