Facts for: Cooking Safety
Cat. No.: H164-150/2012
HC Pub.: 120069
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Every year in Canada, home fires destroy property and can sometimes lead to injuries or even death. According to provincial statistics, cooking fires are a leading cause of home fires.
Health Canada is working closely with safety organizations throughout the country to inform consumers of ways they can reduce the risk of cooking fires.
- Never leave any cooking appliances unattended while in use.
- Remove all items from the stove top once cooking is finished, and do not leave or store any items on top of stove tops.
- Use a heat-resistant surface to cool down cookware.
- Keep young children and pets away from ranges and stove tops.
- Install smoke detectors that meet Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC) standards on every level of your home and make sure they are functional. Clean and test your smoke detectors and replace batteries as often as recommended by the manufacturer, typically at least once a year.
- Keep a fire extinguisher of the "ABC" type in the kitchen, as they can fight most common kitchen fires. Fire extinguishers should be replaced or refilled every six years.
- Keep a pot cover nearby to smother the flames in the event of a fire.
Stove Top Safety Tips
- Read your stove top owner's manual for safety tips and to understand how your range or stove top works. If you do not have an owner's manual, contact the manufacturer to get instructions on how to obtain one.
- When buying an electric range or stove, look for one that has additional safety features included, such as hot-surface lights.
- When cooking, if an element heats to a temperature above what the control is set at for a sustained period of time, turn the element off, stop using it, and contact the manufacturer to obtain further instructions.
- When finished cooking, check to confirm that the element is off when the control is placed in the "off" position. If the element does not turn off, unplug your appliance, if safe to do so, or shut the power off from the circuit breaker. Contact the manufacturer immediately to obtain further instructions.
- Consumers should report all safety-related electrical failures to Health Canada, the appropriate provincial or territorial electrical safety authority, and the manufacturer. To find more information for your area, see the table at the end of this document.
- A number of electric ranges and stove tops have been recalled due to the failure of element controllers. Check to see if your electric range or stove top has been subject to a recall by checking with the manufacturer and visiting the Health Canada recalls website or the ESA recalls website.
Safety Tips for Deep Frying
When oil or grease catches fire on the stove, people can get badly burned. Deep frying food is a common cause of fires at home and, in most cases, the oil or grease catches fire because it becomes too HOT, for too LONG.
- Read all the instructions to find out how to safely use and store your deep fryer.
- Heat cooking oil slowly. Heating oil too fast can have the same effect as heating it for too long - the oil could catch fire.
- As soon as you are done cooking, turn off the heat.
- When you are deep frying any food, always STAY in the kitchen. Do not leave for even a minute.
- Grease and oil can heat up very fast and catch fire without warning. Be careful!
- Use an electric deep fryer with a temperature control, such as the one depicted here. It is safer than frying food in a pot or a pan.
What to do if grease or oil catches fire
- To put out the fire, smother the flames by completely covering the pan with a large metal lid, cooking sheet or flat tray and turn off the heat.
- NEVER try to use water to put out an oil or grease fire. The water will make the fire spread.
- Do NOT try to pick up the pan. The flames could spread faster and you could get burned.
- If you get burned, put the burn under cool water right away.
- If your clothes catch fire you must STOP, DROP and ROLL.
How to report incidents with consumer products (including electrical, such as deep fryers or electric ranges and stove tops) to Health Canada:
- Report a product: www.healthcanada.gc.ca/reportaproduct
Phone: 1 866 662-0666 (calls will be routed to closest regional office)
Mail: Incident Report - Consumer Product Safety Directorate
123 Slater Street
Canada, K1A 0K9