BFD Serving Up Safety at the Stove


Burlington Fire Chief Michael Patterson and State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey have some cooking tips for your Thanksgiving.  Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and injuries. Massachusetts, the state where Thanksgiving began is sending out two main safety messages to prevent home fires: "Stand by Your Pan" to prevent cooking fires and "Put a Lid on It" to put grease fires out safely. Chief Patterson spoke on Thanksgiving safety in Burlington.


“Cooking is the number one cause of fires in our community," said Chief Patterson. “Leaving pots and pans unattended can be a recipe for disaster, so it is important to always stay in the kitchen when cooking.”


According to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System, there were 9,879 residential fires in Massachusetts involving cooking in 2019, which resulted in three civilian deaths, 49 civilian injuries, 20 firefighter injuries and an estimated $6.7 million in property damage. Cooking is also the leading cause of injuries to adults over the age of 65.


Important safety tips:


  • - Stand by your pan, when cooking. Never leave food, grease or oils cooking on the stovetop unattended.

Put a lid on it. In the case of a pan fire, slide the lid on it to smother the fire, and then turn off the heat. Do not move the pan until it has cooled off.

Water or fire extinguishers will not work. They will only spread the fire.

Never move a burning pan. You can be badly burned or spread the fire.

- Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking, because loose fitting clothing can easily catch on fire. 

    • If your clothing catches fire, stop, drop, cover and roll to put out the flames.


The Department of Fire Services has produced PSA's to help educate the public on the importance of standing by your pan in the kitchen. They feature firehouse chefs from Holyoke Fire Department and Methuen Fire Department talking about cooking safety and sharing their favorite recipes. Lt. Maria Pelchar of Holyoke FD provides us with her recipe in Spanish. Click Here for more cooking and burn safety.


Happy Thanksgiving from the Burlington Fire Department. 


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