~ The Springfield Fire Department has responded to 99 accidental residential structure fires since January, with nearly half of these incidents being cooking fires. This makes cooking the leading cause of reported home fires and home fire injuries, and the second leading cause of home fire deaths. Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

In order to prevent cooking fires, the department offers the following safety tips: 42% of cooking fires ignite due to unattended cooking, so it is important to stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food. If baking, simmering or roasting food, check on it regularly and set a timer as a reminder. 19% of cooking fires are caused when combustible items are too close to the cooking surface; items such as cutting boards, cookbooks, wooden utensils, oven mitts, food packaging and towels should be kept away from stove tops. 19% of cooking fires are attributed to stove top grease fires; when frying on the stove top always stay in the kitchen and keep an eye on what is being fried. If wisps of smoke or an unpleasant smell is noticed immediately turn off the burner and place a lid on the pan.

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The Springfield Fire Department wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

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