Cooking safety

Did you know that cooking fires are a leading cause of house fires? Every year, house fires destroy thousands of homes across Canada. In addition to property damage, house fires can cause serious injuries and even death.

The tips below can help you stay safe and reduce the risk of cooking fires in your home.

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Cooking safety - general tips

Do

  • Remove all items from the stovetop when you're done cooking.
  • Use a heat-resistant surface to cool down cookware.
  • Keep young children and pets away from stovetops.
  • 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 once a year.
  • Keep a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
  • Keep a pot cover nearby to smother flames in the event of a fire.

Do not

  • Don't leave cooking appliances unattended while in use. Always stay in the kitchen while you are cooking.

Did you know?

Unattended cooking is a leading cause of cooking fires.

Stovetop safety tips

At the store:

  • Look for safety features. When buying a stove, look for one that has additional safety features such as "hot surface" indicator lights.

Before cooking:

  • Learn about your stove. Read the owner's manual for safety tips and to understand how your stovetop works. If you don't have an owner's manual, contact the manufacturer for details on how to obtain one.
  • Check recalls. A number of stovetops have been recalled due to the failure of element controllers. Check if your stovetop has been recalled by contacting the manufacturer and visiting Health Canada's Consumer Product Recalls page or the ESA recalls website.

While cooking:

  • Stay alert. If an element gets hotter than the setting on the control for an extended period of time, stop using it and contact the manufacturer for further instructions.

After cooking:

  • Ensure the element is off when the control is placed in the "off" position. If the element does not turn off, unplug your appliance or shut the power off from the circuit breaker. Contact the manufacturer immediately to obtain further instructions.
  • Report any incidents.

Deep frying safety tips

Dangers of deep frying

Deep frying food is a common cause of home cooking fires. These fires can start when cooking oil has been kept at a very high temperature for a long period of time.

You can avoid serious injuries before, during and after deep frying food by following these tips.

Before cooking

Using an electric deep fryer with a temperature control is safer than deep frying food in a pot or pan. Make sure the deep fryer is turned off before adding the oil.

Read the information in the instruction manual on how to use, clean, and store your deep fryer safely.

If you deep fry food in a pot or pan, make sure the element is turned off before adding the oil and use a cooking thermometer to keep track of the oil temperature.

If you’re using a propane deep fryer, only use it outdoors.

Keep young children out of the cooking area when deep frying. Kids can be very badly hurt if they touch hot oil or if it spatters (splashes) on them.

While cooking

When you’re getting ready to deep fry food, heat the cooking oil slowly. Raising the oil temperature too fast or heating the oil for too long can cause it to catch fire.

Always watch the oil when it is being heated. Pay extra close attention when you are heating oil in a pot or pan.

If you have to leave the cooking area, turn off the heat first.

Spattering and boiling over of hot oil can cause severe burns.

To reduce spattering and boiling over:

  • pat the food dry with paper towels before putting it into the hot oil.
  • place the food into the oil slowly.

Once the food is in the deep fryer you should:

  • put the used paper towels in the green bin or garbage to avoid spreading germs.
  • wash your hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water.

Never leave a deep fryer unattended while the food is cooking.

After cooking

As soon as you’re finished cooking, turn the deep fryer off. Make sure to dry it completely after you wash it.

What to do in the event of a fire

If the oil in your deep fryer catches fire, use a kitchen fire extinguisher or cover the deep fryer with a metal lid. Get everyone to safety and then call 911 right away.

Never use water to put out an oil fire.

If your clothes catch fire do not run. Moving and running feeds the fire. Stop, drop to the ground and roll around to put the fire out.

Report an incident

Incidents involving consumer products such as deep fryers and stovetops should be reported to Health Canada.

Report an incident involving a consumer product.

You should also report electrical incidents directly to your local provincial or territorial authority.

Provincial/territorial authorities
Province Website Phone Number
Alberta Alberta Municipal Affairs 780-427-2732
British Columbia BC Safety Authority 1-866-566-7233
Manitoba Manitoba Hydro 1-888-624-9376
New Brunswick Department of Public Safety 506-453-3992
Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Government Services 709-729-4834
Northwest Territories Public Works and Services 867-873-7500
Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education 902-424-8018
Nunavut Community and Government Services 867-975-5400
Ontario Electrical Safety Authority 1-877-372-7233
Prince Edward Island Government of Prince Edward Island 902-368-4000
Quebec Régie du bâtiment du Québec 1-800-361-0761
Saskatchewan Saskpower Electrical Inspections Branch 1-877-225-2224
Yukon Department of Community Services 867-667-5315
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