Cooking fires remain one of the leading causes of fires and related injuries in Canada. Most fires can be avoided by paying attention while cooking in the kitchen.

Tips for cooking safely

  • Never leave the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, simmering, baking, roasting or boiling.
  • Frying is one of the most dangerous cooking activities recorded by fire departments.
    • Use a temperature-controlled fryer or an electric skillet designed for high temperatures.
    • Use only enough oil to cover the bottom of your pan.
    • Heat the oil slowly and always add food carefully to your pot or pan.
    • Keep a lid beside the stove when frying. If a fire starts, use the lid to smother the flames.
  • If you are using an oven, check on your food regularly or use a timer.
  • Do not cook if you are tired or under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
  • Always remain with children if they want to help with cooking. Otherwise, keep children and pets away from cooking areas.
  • Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing while cooking.
  • Always be sure to clean food and grease from your stovetops.
  • Keep burners, oven and exhaust-fan filters and ducts clean.
  • Always double check that your oven is empty before turning it on.
  • If your appliances are more than 10 years old, have them inspected to ensure they are in good working order.

Using microwaves

  • Use only microwave-safe containers for heating food.
  • Never use aluminum foil or metal in the microwave.
  • Microwaves should always be plugged directly into a wall socket. Never use an extension cord.

Common fire starters

Most fires start when heat or flames come in contact with common items found in your home, such as:

  • wall coverings
  • paper
  • plastic bags
  • loose clothing
  • hand towels
  • cookbooks
  • napkins
  • food packaging

Always be prepared

You can reduce the risk of fires in your kitchen by following the above tips. In case a fire does breakout, remember the following:

  • Keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of an emergency. Make sure you and other members of your household know how to use it.
  • If a fire starts in your oven, immediately turn off the heat and keep the doors closed to prevent flames from spreading.
  • If a fire starts in your pan, immediately cover the pan with a lid to smother the flames and turn off the heat.
  • Ensure your smoke alarm is in working order.


Download our poster and graphics to share online and in your community to help reduce the risk of cooking fires.