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Food left on stove can set off alarms — or worse

The approach of the holiday season and the onset of cold weather brings more indoor activities, especially cooking.

Bend Fire and Rescue has noted an uptick of “Food on a stove” incidents, where someone was cooking food and left the stove unattended, causing the contents of the pan to start smoking, setting off the smoke alarm in the residence. This kind of incident can easily lead to a house fire, and in any event it will smoke up the house and necessitate a big cleanup effort.

As we enter the holiday cooking season, here are a few pointers to remember to keep your festivities happy and safe:

Never leave cooking unattended. It is too easy to be delayed while you are out of the house and there is still food on the stove. If a pan of food catches fire while you are cooking, put on an oven mitt, grab a flat lid or pan, SLIDE IT across the burning pot, and then turn off the burner. It is wise to practice this sequence of actions by pretending that a pan of food you are cooking is on fire and going through the motions. That way, it will a familiar movement pattern if the real thing happens. Make sure there is nothing combustible either on or hanging over the range top, EVER! Have a small fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen, just in case. Keep all kids at least 3 feet away from the front of the stove, and ensure that pot handles are not facing outward, where little hands can grab them.

A stove is a valuable tool that is easy and efficient to use, but misused, it can cause devastating damage. Follow these tips and your holidays are far more likely to be safe, happy and fulfilling.

Article Topic Follows: Bend

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