Did you know cooking is the number one cause of house fires, 47% to be exact!

The American Burn Association has chosen to focus on cooking safety during the 2022 Burn Injury Prevention Week. Here at the UofL Health – UofL Hospital – Burn Center, we frequently treat burn injuries from kitchen accidents.

Here are some things you can do to prevent a burn while cooking:

  • Cook when you are wide awake and not drowsy from medications or alcohol.
  • Keep the stove, oven and exhaust fan clean to prevent grease build up.
  • Keep a pan lid, potholders or oven mitts close every time you cook.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove.
  • Allow food to rest before removing from the microwave.
  • Use a pan lid to prevent grease splatter.
  • Always stay in the kitchen when cooking, use a timer to remind yourself to check on your food.
  • After cooking, make sure you turn off all appliances and stove top burners.

These tips will help you prevent a fire from cooking and prevent a painful burn injury, but we know there is room for an accident. What should you do if a kitchen or cooking fire happens?

  • If the food is on fire, cover the pan with a lid or bakingsheet. Do not move the pot or try to carry it outside. The hot food can splash causing a severe burn.
  • Turn the burner or heat source off. Do not use water to put the fire out. Water will cause grease and oil to splatter or spread the fire.
  • For microwave fires, keep the door shut and turn the microwave off until the fire stops.
  • If the fire gets out of control, call 911 and leave the home. Do not return inside for any reason.

Cooking safety is simple and just takes a few extra moments to ensure a burn injury doesn’t occur. Don’t be a victim of a preventable accident!

UofL Hospital – Burn Center treats more than 500 patients annually from all over the tri-state area. We care for patients with chemical, electrical, flame/thermal and scald burns or complex wounds or skin conditions. Our goal is to assist patients and families towards recovery and getting back to their lives.


From: Cooking Safety for All (2019) American Burn Association, https://ameriburn.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/cobranded_aba119_burnprevention-cookingall_113018-1.pdf

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Tracie Burchett BSN, RN, TCRN

Tracie Burchett BSN, RN, TCRN is the trauma outreach and education coordinator at the UofL Health – UofL Hospital Trauma Institute. Tracie has worked in the nursing field for 12 years, spending the past nine years at the UofL Health – UofL Hospital. Outside of work, Tracie likes to spend time with her husband, three children and Border Collie, Porter.

All posts by Tracie Burchett BSN, RN, TCRN
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