A fire is one of the most horrible things a homeowner can experience, especially if it’s allowed to get out of control. Cooking fires are very common, and they often result in injury or serious damage to property. Some of the common culprits of kitchen fires include:
- Unattended pans
- Dirty stoves
- Loose clothing
- And many others
Obviously, when a kitchen fire occurs, you need to know how to extinguish it quickly-and if you’re unable to take care of the fire on time, you’ll need to immediately exit your home and contact your local fire department. However, many kitchen fires injuries occur when victims try to fight the fires on their own-so the best thing you can do is work to prevent kitchen fires from every occurring.
Here are some ways you can avoid kitchen fires and keep your home as safe as possible while you’re cooking:
Don’t Leave Food Unattended
One of the easiest ways to start a kitchen fire is to leave your food unattended. While you’re cooking any kind of meal, you should check your food regularly and stay in the kitchen. If you absolutely have to leave the kitchen while you’re cooking, be sure to turn off the stove and remove all pots and pans from heat, take any food out of the oven, and turn off your broiler.
Careless cooking can easily result in an oil fire, which can spread quickly in a kitchen.
Never Throw Hot Grease Into Your Trash Can
Disposing of grease is one headache-inducing part of home cooking-but more than anything, you need to make sure that you’re doing it safely.
The most important part of disposing of grease is to make sure that it’s cooled. Hot grease poured into your trash can could easily cause a fire. Putting out this kind of fire is very difficult, and there’s a strong chance that it will be able to spread very quickly.
Let the grease cool, then dispose of it an empty bottle or can that you can throw away.
Don’t Cook on a Dirty Stove
If your stove isn’t cleaned regularly, it can pose a huge threat while you’re cooking. If you don’t keep your cooking surfaces clean, it can lead to grease build up, and you could start a fire on your stovetop while you’re cooking.
Keep Kids Out of the Kitchen
While you’re cooking, you don’t want to have any young children around. Not only can they can easily cause an accident, but children also demand your attention, which needs to be focused on the food you’re cooking. Try to enforce a “kid-free zone” while you’re doing anything that could result in a disaster.
Unplug Appliances When They’re Not Being Used
Coffee makers, toaster ovens, mixers, and other electrical appliances continue to draw electricity even when they aren’t turned off if they’re plugged in. This increases the risk of an electrical fire if you have any problems with your electrical wiring.
Keep Towels, Oven Mitts, Etc. Away from the Stove
Being careless while you’re cooking can often ruin a meal, but if you’re not careful, you might also start a fire. Leaving any towels, paper towel, oven mitts, or other loose things near your burners while you’re cooking could easily cause a fire to start in your kitchen.
You should also make sure that your clothing is not loose or dangling-the only thing worse than starting a fire in your kitchen is starting it on the clothes your wearing. Roll up your sleeves and tie back your hair.
Know What To Do if There is a Fire
Even if you’re taking all the precautions you can, you never know what may happen, and you need to know what to do in case a fire does start in your kitchen.
- If a fire starts on your stovetop, the best thing to do is put a properly fitting lid over the pot or pan to smother the flames.
- Never use water and never pick up a burning pan!
- Do not use flour to try to smother a fire. Flour can catch on fire and may only assist in spreading the flames.
- Have a plan to escape your home in case of a fire. Make sure all the members of your household know the plan, and practice the escape every month.
- Contact the fire department as soon as possible. Even if you successfully put the fire out, it’s better to be safe than sorry.