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Cooking Is Top Home Fire Cause

The National Fire Protection Association says that cooking was involved in an estimated 146,000 home fires in 2005, making it the leading cause of home fires.

Cooking-related fires accounted for about 40% of all home fires, resulting in an estimated $876 million in direct property damage.

Unattended cooking was the largest contributing factor to home-cooking fires, the NFPA said.

Cooking was also the leading cause of insurers related to home-structure fires. Nearly 36% of injures related to home fires in 2005 involved cooking, with most occurring as occupants attempted to fight the fire.

"Nearly all of these fires can be prevented with a little extra care," said Lorraine Carli, NFPA's vice president of communications, in a news release. "Simply paying attention when you are cooking will keep your dinner and everything else from getting burned."

The NFPA urges homeowners to stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food; check regularly if simmering, baking, roasting or boiling; avoid cooking while being under the influence of alcohol or drugs that may make you drowsy; and keeping flammable materials away from stovetops.

The NFPA provides building, electrical and other fire safety information to the public. The organization was established in 1896 and supports standards to reduce fire risk. (c) 2008 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com/ http://www.sourcemedia.com/