NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Tuesday, the North Charleston and Charleston fire departments teamed up to give cooking safety tips.
North Charleston said about 44 percent of fires in the city are cooking-related, which is right on par with the national average of 43 percent.
Both cities say the most common issue is people simply leaving their kitchens while cooking.
They also suggest keeping the cooking area clear and clean and making sure things like paper towels don't accidentally get near the stove and children and pets don't get too close to the cooking areas either.
If a fire does happen, then make sure to not throw water on a grease fire. It will only splatter and cause burns. If the fire is small enough and it's safe, the departments recommend simply putting the lid back on to keep the air out.
With an oven fire, they say many times people will want to open the stove and try to put out the fire, but that only allows more air in and for the fire and heat to get out. They say just turn off the oven and if necessary, call 9-1-1.
Last, both departments say to keep a fire extinguisher handy, but make sure to replace it every six to 10 years, and make sure it's not so close to the stove or oven that you won't be able to reach it during a fire.
Also, make sure your smoke alarm is on but not too close to where you're cooking. The departments say sometimes people put their alarms to close to their stoves or oven, so they go off frequently and people take them down and put them away. Instead, they say to just move them to the other side of the kitchen or a nearby room.