October 13, 2006
Cooking in the kitchen is the leading cause of fires in the United States and many of them happen when people leave or just get distracted.
"The only two fire deaths we've had in the last year in Albemarle were related to cooking incidents," said Inspector Joe Gould of the Albemarle County Department of Fire and Rescue.
They're often centered around the stove and frying.
"The first thing you do is turn off your source of ignition, which is right here in front of the stove and then put your lid on. In most cases that should take care of your problem right there," said Gould.
If not, you can always try a fire extinguisher or baking soda.
"If you happen to live in a home with wooden wall paneling and you have a toaster that's too close to the wall paneling, they didn't mean to do it, it just happens," said Gould.
It's not just where you put these appliances, but also where you store combustible material.
"Separate those things that might be inherently toxic or inherently flammable, or eliminate those things you really really and I mean really don't need," said Gould.
Fire officials also recommends an evacuation plan that includes a place to meet once you exit the house and a means of getting in touch with the fire department, whether that's a cell phone, car, or neighbor.