It's no secret that most household fires are started in the kitchen. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, there is an average of 471 home cooking fires per day in the United States. Mr Restore has responded to hundreds of homes in Dallas, Texas, and all surrounding communities, that have suffered from fire damage that started in the kitchen. There is plenty you can do to prevent fires in your kitchen. Although you can’t remove every source of a potential kitchen fire, you can, remove some hazards and maintain your kitchen to minimize the risks. Help keep your kitchen safe by following our safety tips:
Be sure to keep your appliances serviced, clean, and in good repair. Consider cleaning your toaster or toaster oven monthly and dumping out the crumb tray (underneath the stove). Your other appliances need cleaning as well. For instance, your microwave might need to be wiped out, or maybe you should clean the oven if it’s been a while. Finally, you should unplug an appliance if it starts acting strange. Be sure to repair or replace them after a strange incident. Fires often start due to old food and debris getting too hot in the stove, toaster, or other heating appliances.
You should always unplug electric appliances when you’re not using them. They use electricity even when they’re not turned on. This includes:
- Toaster ovens
- Coffee makers
- Food processors
- Electric can openers
It is possible for a fire to ignite if the appliance has old or faulty wiring. It could also happen if it overheats the thermostat.
It is vital that you install a smoke detector near your kitchen. However, don’t place it inside the kitchen because the alarm could be triggered by small amounts of smoke or steam from cooking if you do. If it is close by, it will be able to sense a real kitchen fire. Be sure to change out the batteries regularly and test that it is working each month.
You should always have a fire extinguisher close and stored in a cool place in case a fire breaks out. Baking powder can also be used to put out flames in case you don’t have a fire extinguisher. Remember, you shouldn’t try to be a hero, call 911 to be on the safe side.
Cooking with Gas
Try to be cautious when you light the pilot light or a gas stove burner. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
Remember, never put metal (including foil) in the microwave. The sparks can create a fire or cause the microwave serious damage. Remember to unplug your microwave if it starts to spark. Keep your microwave clean of old food and crumbs.
Grease and Oil
You shouldn’t overfill a pot or pan with oil or grease because these substances can splatter and start a fire. Additionally, wipe up any grease or oil spills. Not only do you not want to cook on a dirty stove, but the grease buildup is extremely flammable.
When cooking with hot oil, be sure to follow proper procedures. For instance, let’s say you want to fry some chicken. There are a few things to keep in mind when frying the chicken:
- You shouldn’t put the chicken into the frying pan if it’s wet. Water thrown in hot oil could start a grease fire.
- Only fill the pot with 1/3 oil when deep-frying.
- Most importantly, water should never be used to put out a grease fire. It will only make it worse. You should use a fire extinguisher.
Keep any long sleeves rolled up, long hair tied, and don’t wear a bathrobe or loose apron while you’re cooking since they can easily catch fire. Keep the following things away from the stove:
- Dish towels
- Paper towels
You could accidentally leave a burner on, and built-up heat could cause them to catch on fire.
It’s not a good idea to leave food unattended while it’s cooking. You should stay in the kitchen. This is especially true if you’re cooking with grease or the oven on very high heat. Be sure to always turn the burner or oven off if you need to leave the house.
Following these kitchen safety tips can help you prevent fires in your home. However, sometimes, even when being safety conscious, fires can happen. If you experience a fire in your kitchen, give Mr. Restore a call. We will work quickly to restore your home to normal and let you get on with living.