Cooking up Fire Safety


Albertans are cooking up more than food in their kitchens.

Did you know that cooking fires continue to be the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries in Alberta?

Most kitchen fires can be avoided by paying attention when cooking in the kitchen. Follow these safety tips to avoid a kitchen fire.

In the kitchen

  • Check on your cooking regularly and use a timer to remind you when your food is done cooking.
  • Stay in the kitchen when food is frying, grilling, simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Stay alert. If you are sleepy, fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is best to avoid cooking.
  • Keep children and pets away from cooking areas.
  • Use the back burners of the stove whenever possible.
  • Turn pot handles inward to avoid them from being knocked over.
  • When frying foods, use a temperature-controlled fat fryer or skillet designed for a maximum temperature of 200° C.
  • Keep all combustible items away from the stovetop. Avoid wearing loose fitting clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  • Clean food and grease from stovetops. Keep the burners, exhaust fan filters/ducts and oven clean.

Microwave fire safety tips

  • Plug a microwave directly into the wall socket.
  • Use only microwave-safe containers to heat food.
  • Cool food for a minute or more before removing it from the microwave.
  • Open microwave containers slowly to avoid burns from hot steam escaping from the container(s).
  • Never use aluminum foil or metal objects in a microwave oven.

In case of a fire

  • If a small grease fire starts in the pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan, and turning off the heat.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from spreading and possibly burning you or your clothes.
  • Keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of an emergency. Make sure you know how to use it before an emergency occurs.

For more information on fire safety in Alberta, contact your municipality’s fire or emergency service or the Office of the Fire Commissioner at 1-800-421-6929, email or visit and select Public Education tab.