a blazing fire over a stove, cooking technique by a chefFiling for a fire loss insurance claim can be overwhelming. Especially if the fire caused a lot of damage to you and your family. Despite the many campaigns on fire prevention in the U.S., many home fires still start from the simplest things. For example, U.S. fire departments responded to over 170,000 home structure fires per year, between 2011-2015. And these fires involved cooking equipment wherein 47% were caused by actual cooking.

No one can predict a fire accident while they’re cooking a meal for their families. Sometimes it could be a case of pure negligence. But no matter what the case may be, it’s always a good idea to remind people of the things they CAN do to prevent these types of fires.

Here are four ways to avoid the dangerous flames of a cooking fire.

1. Keep anything that can burn away from the stove. Like hand towels, potholders, paper or plastic bags, food wrappers, etc.

2. Always make sure that all cooking surfaces are free of any grease build up. You’ve probably heard of a grease fire, and you won’t want that burning up your kitchen. Make it a habit to check all cooking surfaces before turning any flames on.

3. Always use a timer. When you’re cooking big batches like a Thanksgiving dinner, always take out your timer to remind you that you’ve got something on in the kitchen. It can save lives and food. Or better yet,

4. Don’t leave cooking food unattended. If what you’re cooking doesn’t take more than an hour to cook, it wouldn’t hurt to stay in the kitchen until it’s done. There’s probably some cleaning up you’d have to do anyway while it’s cooking.

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Be smart to remember these things. It’s fun to hang out in the kitchen, as long as safety is your priority.