A lawmaker in Idaho suffered severe burns from cooking oil while helping her child and a friend deep-fry cactus for a school project, reports KTVB. There was less than an inch of oil in the burner, but it started burning once it was on the stove.

The lawmaker took the pot and rushed it out to the patio. Along the way, the oil exploded. It will take several weeks and several skin grafts to repair the damage.

Cooking safety is important to avoid getting burned. Here are some tips:

  • Young children should avoid using the stove without adult supervision.
  • Always assume a burner is hot. An electric burner does not need not be red to be hot!
  • Tie long hair and roll up loose sleeves when using the stove.
  • Turn pan handles away from the edge of the stove to prevent children from grabbing them and spilling hot food or liquid.
  • Always turn off the stove once you’re done.

Frying with oil also requires special care:

  • Know the flashpoint. Some oils can be heated to a high temperature and some cannot.
  • Never mix oil and water, or use water to put out a grease fire. Not only will the oil float to the top and keep burning, but the water will start to boil and throw hot grease. Instead, cover the pot to suffocate it.
  • Take care when adding things to hot oil. Water in the food can cause it to spatter.

Want more cooking safety tips? See our post on Grilling Safety.