Cooktops are top culprits in cooking fires, says fire restoration specialist


Two burning gas stove burners. Getty Images.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — U.S. fire departments are called to an estimated average of 172,900 home structure fires related to cooking each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

The NFPA notes that the number of home fires caused by cooking peaks to an average of 470 fires each day during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

“These fires are tragic because they result in property damage, displacement of families, injury, and even death,” says fire damage restoration specialist Danny Fields of SERVPRO of Benton/Carroll Counties. “The thing that compounds the tragedy, though, is that there are some simple steps everyone can take to reduce the chance of a cooking fire.” Fields urges homeowners to consider these basic guidelines for cooking safety.”

Fields suggests following these steps to help with cooking safety:

  • Never leave food unattended on a range or cooktop. That’s where 61% of home cooking fires start.
  • Never cook on the stove top when you are sleepy or intoxicated.
  • Use a timer to remind yourself that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything flammable – potholders, wooden utensils, towels, curtains, food wrapping – away from the stovetop.
  • If you must leave the kitchen for any period of time, turn off the stove.

“Cooking is such a routine part of our days that it is easy to become complacent about these basic safety steps,” says Fields, “but the statistics show that unattended cooking is the number one cause of home cooking fires and casualties. Whether you are cooking for the holidays or simply preparing an everyday meal, it is important to stay alert and focused on what’s happening on and around your stovetop.”

For more fire prevention and fire safety tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit

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