Mobile Fire-Rescue discouraging ‘distracted cooking’


Most people have heard distracted driving a safety hazard, but distracted cooking? The Mobile Fire-Rescue Department thinks area residents should be aware of the dangers of distracted cooking.

Mobile Fire-Rescue was dispatched to three cooking-related fires between 6:06 and 7:58 p.m. Wednesday night. Officials said one fire was extinguished before MFRD arrived, one left a home filled with smoke and the other fire threatened to cause considerable damage to the structure.

Officials confirmed each fire started in the kitchen after someone left something cooking on the stove unattended.

“An unattended pot cooking on a stove is the leading cause of kitchen fires in residential structures,” said Public Information Officer Steven Millhouse.

The department urges citizens to avoid distracted or “absent” cooking, even if only “for a minute.”

“Grease fires can take fewer than 5 minutes to begin and even less time to grow to an uncontrollable state, spreading quickly throughout the kitchen and the rest of the home,” Millhouse said.

Here are some tips for safe cooking:

  • Always remain within sight of the stove and pot while the stove top is on.
  • Keep a lid nearby to cover an unruly pot of grease.
  • Have flour and/or baking soda readily available to smother a small pot fire.
  • Ensure your home has working smoke detectors/alarms. Check the operation once monthly, and change the batteries twice per year.
  • Never throw water on a grease fire.
  • Never attempt to remove a flaming grease pots from the stove. You risk personal harm/injury and spreading fire beyond the stove.
  • Ensure that you and your family have a fire safety plan in the event of smoke or fire in your home.
  • Call 911 for all emergencies.
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