Insurance Commissioner Hudgens Urge Caution with Holiday Cooking

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens urge Georgians to use caution while cooking
this holiday season, and especially when they heat up leftovers on the stove after the holidays are over.
“Last year in Georgia approximately 706 cooking‐related fires occurred during November and December,” Hudgens said. “Many of these fires were caused by food left cooking unattended or the stove was accidentally left in the on position. If neglected, a stove can heat a pan to the point that the metal melts.”

Commissioner Hudgens suggested the following tips for cooking safety:

- Always set a timer when cooking, so you never forget to turn off the burners or oven.

- If a pan catches fire, cover it with a lid immediately and turn off the burner. Don’t attempt to fight a grease fire with water, as it may make the fire worse.

- Wear tight‐fitting sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can contact a burner and ignite. If this happens, remember “stop, drop and roll.” Stop where you are, cover your face with your hands, and roll over to smother the flames.

- Never use a cooking stove to heat your home.

- Install an adequate number of smoke alarms. Most fatal fires start between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., while the family is asleep. The advance warning of a smoke alarm may mean the difference between life and
death. Nine out of ten fire victims are already dead before the fire department is even called, mainly from smoke and toxic gases.

- Each household should have a well‐rehearsed family escape plan. All rooms, especially bedrooms, should have two escape routes. Have a predetermined meeting place outside the house to ensure everyone is out safely.

- Have a fire extinguisher readily available. The dry chemical kind of extinguisher is usually safe for both
grease and electrical fires. If a small fire is caught in time, you may be able to put it out quickly.

- If the fire is too large for a residential fire extinguisher, exit the house and stay out. Do not go back
inside. Call the fire department from a neighbor’s house.