MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Authorities said Wednesday that kitchen fires killed more people last year than in the previous seven years combined, according to statistics by the State Fire Marshal.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety said six people died last in fires that were caused by leaving food cooking unattended. There haven’t been more than two fire deaths due to unattended cooking in Minnesota since 2006 and in 2011, 2008 and 2007, there were zero fire deaths.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office also said unattended cooking tied with careless smoking as the leading cause of fire deaths last year. Authorities said there were more than 6,300 structure fires last year and 44 deaths.
While it seems simple, you can avoid these types of fires with a few tips. The State Fire Marshal advises to never leave your cooking food unattended, keep a lid next to your pots and pans so you can smother a fire if it starts and keep flammable items like rags, pot holders and paper towels away from the stove.
Homeowners are also urged to have working smoke detectors and have an escape plan if you have a fire.