Chief Michael B. Mansfield
32 North Main St.
Andover, MA 01810
For Immediate Release
Monday, Sept. 24, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Andover Fire Rescue Responds to Cooking Fire
ANDOVER — Fire Rescue Chief Michael Mansfield reports that Andover Fire Rescue responded to a cooking fire today at the home of a resident who was using a hot plate provided as a temporary relief measure due to the Merrimack Valley gas emergency.
Firefighters responded to a home on North Main St. at 7:30 p.m. Upon arrival, they were met outside the home by a resident who reported that they had been cooking when oil left on a pan on the hot plate ignited causing a grease fire.
The resident grabbed the pan and ran outside with it. The home sustained a minor smoke condition, which was quickly ventilated by firefighters.
Chief Mansfield cautions that residents should never grab a pan that is on fire and attempt to move it outside. Many of the injuries caused by grease fires occur when someone tries to move the pan to the sink or outside. Always keep a pot lid within grasp to place it on top of a pan in the event of a fire. Depriving a grease fire of oxygen will quell it.
“Electric cooking elements stay hotter for longer than gas cooking surfaces,” Chief Mansfield said. “Grease fires can occur if cooking oil is allowed to overheat. Pans should be removed from an electric cooking surface as soon as cooking is completed, even if the hot plate has been turned off.”
An on-scene investigation by Andover Fire Rescue indicated that the hot plate did not malfunction.
Andover Fire Rescue also offers the following guidelines for using hot plates:
- Only use hot plates and electric skillets on the countertop.
- Electric cooking surfaces stay hotter for longer than gas range cooktops. Remove pots and pans immediately from the hot surface when cooking is finished.
- Keep a 1-foot circle of safety around it; clear of anything that can catch fire.
- Turn off when not in use.
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking; stand by your pan.
- Teach children to keep 3 giant steps from any cooking (the stove, a grill, or a hot plate).
- Have a pot cover nearby to “put a lid” on a fire. Then unplug the hot plate if it is safe to do so.
- Plug hot plates and electric skillets directly into the wall; do not use extension cords or power strips.
- If the device trips the breaker or blows a fuse, stop using it right away and call an electrician or ask the landlord to so.
- Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.