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In your kitchen

Kitchens can be warm and inviting places, but can also pose a serious fire risk for seniors. From leaving a burner on to accidental falls, seniors need to be extra careful in working around stoves and other cooking appliances such as hot plates.

What you can do to prevent a fire:

  • Keep stove surfaces free of clutter and grease. Remember to scrub grease from underneath the fan over your stove. Fan filters above the cooking area can often be removed and washed.
  • Never leave cooking unattended. Even an empty pot left on a working burner can ignite.
  • Set a kitchen timer to remind you to turn off burners and the oven.
  • Watch your sleeves. Wear tight-fitting clothing around the stove, and be careful reaching into cupboards above.
  • Even a microwave can catch fire. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cooking times and microwave-safe containers. When possible, use a timer on both your microwave and toaster oven.

Burn treatment:

Older adults are more at risk for burns, because their skin is thinner and can suffer more damage in less time.

  • If you get a minor kitchen burn, try using an antiseptic spray or cream to help relieve pain. Cover with a clean, dry dressing. If wounds appear more serious or are not healing, call your doctor.
  • Never put ice on a burn, because it can make the burn worse. Run the burned area under cool water.
  • If your clothing catches fire, Stop, Drop and Roll to smother the flames and call 9-1-1.