On Saturday, October 20, the New Canaan Fire Department responded to a report of an appliance fire. Upon arrival the fire had been extinguished, but the homeowner had received burns to his hands after carrying a burning pot of cooking oil to the exterior.

The burns are minor in nature and the family was lucky because they were alerted to the burning pan by their smoke detectors, according to the New Canaan fire marshal's office.

Following is a list of tips to remind residents to be safe while cooking:

If warming cooking oil (or anything else for that matter), set a timer for five minutes to remind you to come back if you get distracted.

If a fire occurs, alert other occupants and call 9-1-1.

If you feel comfortable doing so, use the lid -- or a cookie sheet -- to smother the flames. Use an oven mitt to protect your hand. Never try to carry a burning pot to the sink or the exterior.

Never let a fire get between you and your escape route.

If you use a fire extinguisher, do not get too close -- the force of the extinguishing agent may splash the contents of the pan, spreading the fire. Start about 6 feet away and move in if safe to do so.

Always call the Fire Department at 9-1-1 to report the fire -- even if you think it is out. Firefighters can verify that all remaining hot spots are fully extinguished.

Always have properly installed and operating smoke detectors in your home or apartment.

For information on other fire safety topics, call the New Canaan Fire Marshal's Office at 203-594-3030.

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