Avoid being part of the statistic: Twin Falls Fire Marshal talks how to prevent cooking fires

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - About 471 home cooking fires are reported each day across the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. In Twin Falls, the fire department just responded to one this past weekend.

Twin Falls Fire Marshal Tim Lauda talks about how a stove top fire extinguisher works (KMVT image/Elenee Dao)

There are more than 5,200 injuries reported and about $1.1 billion in property loss because of cooking fires.

Twin Falls Fire Marshal Tim Lauda said just this year alone, he's already had to investigate three fires where people put cardboard, paper or even groceries on their stove.

"They’ve accidentally hit their burner then later they have a kitchen fire," he explained.

If someone is boiling, frying, broiling or grilling, he said to turn the burner off even if they are stepping away for just a few minutes.

"If you do have a fire, absolutely do not put water on it, it just makes the fire get bigger," he said. "You can take a lid and put a lid over the top and then shut it off."

If a fire happens in the stove, close the stove and turn it off.

"If you don’t feel comfortable in fighting the fire, by all means, call the fire department. Get out of the house, shut your door and let us fight the fire," he said.

Also, when someone is cooking, make sure to have the handle pointed toward the stove rather than out and hanging over the stove.

"A small child could knock this over and what could be an injury to an adult, can be fatal to a small child with the grease falling on top of them," he explained.

There is a product online that many can buy called stove top extinguishers. For some of the product, which could be a form of a stove top fire extinguisher, some are magnetic and stick to the hood system.

"There’s a fuse that’s off the bottom right here, when the fire hits that, the bottom of the can blows off and it drops basically a baking soda solution onto your fire and puts it off. It will not shut off your stove, you need to shut it off," he explained.

As always, make sure smoke detectors are working because it can alert homeowners and save a life.

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