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Madison Fire Department
Committed to recruiting and retaining a qualified, diverse, inclusive and safe fire workforce.


Kitchen fire safety

Unattended cooking remains the leading cause of fires in the City of Madison and nationally. With this in mind the Madison Fire Department wants you to know how to reduce your risk of kitchen fires & burns by offering the following tips:
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep things that burn away from the cooking area & appliances in your kitchen. Don't place towels, pot holders, pizza boxes, or paper bags on the stove or near hot appliances.
  • Clean any grease build-up from the stove, oven & exhaust fan regularly.
  • Cooking grease & oil ignite easily & burn rapidly.
    • Use a lid or bigger pan to smother a small pan fire.
    • Do not use water or flour on a grease fire – it will make the fire bigger.
    • Do not try to carry a burning pan outside or to the sink – this risks spreading the fire to a larger area.
    • Keep a lid, baking soda, or a fire extinguisher, rated for class A, B, and C fires, near the cooking area in an accessible location.
  • Avoid reaching over the stove for anything while cooking.
    • Store frequently needed items in other areas of the kitchen.
    • Cookies or other "treats" near the stove can present a temptation for small children to climb on the stove – store them away from appliances.
    •  Keep young children & pets away from cooking areas entirely.
  • Keep pot handles turned inward, out of the reach of children & pets.
  • Keep appliance cords up on counter tops. Check those cords regularly for frayed or broken spots. Replace damaged cords or appliances.
  • Dress for fire safety in the kitchen – wear short, tight-fitting sleeves when cooking.
  • Shield yourself from steam when uncovering food, especially microwave servings. Steam can cause serious burns.

For more information on what you can to do make your kitchen safer from fire contact the Community Education Unit at (608) 266-4709.