The Torrance Fire Department is reminding people to keep an extra eye out while cooking.

Since 2014, the City has seen a jump of cooking-related fires, and officials say it’s the leading cause of home fire injuries. The majority of these accidents have to do with oil or grease, items inside the oven and food left unattended. Other cooking-related fires have involved appliance failure and ovens in self-cleaning mode.

Fire officials say it’s always a good idea to be alert and cook with caution. Here are some tips to keep you safe.

  • Always stay in the kitchen while cooking and if you leave the area, turn off the stove.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stove top.
  • It’s recommended to have a kid-free zone of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drinks are being prepared.
  • If a fire does start, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

Torrance fire officials are also urging people to take a look at their bathroom exhaust fans to see if they have a recalled unit.

In 2012, a voluntary recall of Harbor Breeze bath fans with heater and light were recalled across Lowe’s stores. Another recall included NuTone Inc. exhaust fans because the light socket in these units were wired incorrectly causing an electrical shock hazard when replacing the light bulb.

Fire officials say they have recently been called out to homes where fires have erupted from exhaust fans. Over time, these fans build up lint, which later becomes a fire hazard.

You can protect yourself, by inspecting and cleaning your fans regularly. If the exhaust is not easily accessible for regular cleaning, it is a good idea to replace them. Avoid prolonged use and ensure the fan is turned off before leaving your home

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