The kitchen is the place where everyone in the family congregates to eat, chat, and spend time. It is the most used room in a house. But, it is also the place where most home fires start. According to the United States Fire Administration, there is an average of 164,000 cooking fires a year. Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires in the United States. Oil, fat, and grease fires are the leading types of kitchen fires. These types of fires can be prevented if you and your family practice some common sense tips. It is important to discuss the following tips with your family, especially children. If there is a fire, it is crucial to be prepared and have an emergency plan already in place.
1. Make sure that you are using kitchen appliances in the correct way. Read the manufacturer’s instructions before you use your appliances. Also, make sure that you are using them on a flat surface and they are plugged directly into a wall outlet and unplugged when not in use.
2. Plug microwaves, stoves, and refrigerators directly into a wall outlet. Never plug them into an extension cord.
3. Keep anything that can catch on fire away from a heat source or open flame. This would include oven mitts, paper, plastic bags, or towels.
4. Do not leave frying or broiling food unattended on the stove or in the oven . In fact, if you are cooking anything in the kitchen, it should be constantly monitored.
5. Keep pets off cooking surfaces and countertops to prevent them from knocking things over, which could result in a fire.
6. Do not wear loose fitting sleeves when you are cooking. Roll up your sleeves and wear more form-fitting clothing.
7. If a small grease fire starts, you might be able to smother the flames by carefully putting the lid over the top of the pan. Turn off the burner and leave the lid on under the fire is out.
8. If your oven catches on fire, make sure to turn off the heat source and keep the door of the oven closed. Once that is done, then you can call 911. If you do have an appliance catch on fire, make sure that it is properly cleaned and repaired before you use the item again.
9. Make sure to clean cooking equipment and appliances, especially deep fryers, regularly to remove grease or other cooking material that could start a future fire.
10. Have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen as a safety precaution. Make sure that you and your family know how to properly use the fire extinguisher.
If you still have questions about kitchen fire safety, feel free to submit a question on our Contact Us Page or simply by calling 888-673-4734.
From Allen Kronebusch, and everyone here at AKE: “Happy Cooking and be Safe!”