Are you want to know how to prevent kitchen fires from your home ? Yes this presentation just for you.
A kitchen fire can turn out deadly and bring down an entire house. That’s unthinkable, but it really happens, from just small negligence in some cases. According to the red cross, cooking in the kitchen is the leading source of home fires. Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. Estimates that about 164,500 residential cooking fires occur in the united states annually. source of a kitchen fire, you can minimize fire risks by removing hazards and maintaining your kitchen leading cause of cooking fires.
There are quite many measures that can be undertaken to prevent or curb a kitchen fire. Even though you can’t eliminate all the possible sources of fire, you can greatly reduce the risk by performing a few measures, as I am going to explain to you right away.
16 Ways to Prevent Kitchen Fires
In most cases, a kitchen fire occurs because a certain safety precaution was not adhered to. Let’s look at each of these precautions closely.
- The microwave:
The microwave is becoming a piece of essential equipment for any modern kitchen. This is not to mention the inherent danger of a fire breakout if the microwave is mishandled. Equipment 57% of restaurant fires are due to cooking equipment. Make sure all equipment is in proper working.
One of the fire risk factors is placing metal in the microwave. This is widely known by users but is still a leading cause of microwave fires. Metal utensils and aluminum foils are easy to avoid putting in the microwave, unlike twist-tie wraps that have concealed metal. The Massachusetts Public Fire Education Department reports that these twist-tie wraps can easily ignite if microwaved.
You should also be cautious when taking food or drink out of the microwave for these can be extremely hot within two or three minutes of ‘warming’. Use pot holders or kitchen gloves when handling substances from the microwave.
If the unfortunate happens and a fire starts in the microwave, unplug it immediately and alert the fire department. Do not try to handle it by yourself.
- Don’t leave the kitchen while cooking:
According to the USFA, kitchen fire start when whatever is being cooked gets too hot. Fortunately, even without a thermostat, you can tell if the pot is too hot, so long as you’re in the kitchen. This is why cooking food must never be left unattended.
If you have to leave the kitchen momentarily, even if it’s a phone call you need to answer, turn off the burner, and resume cooking once you can be in the kitchen uninterruptedly. Broiling is not an exception. If you have to leave the kitchen, turn the broiler off and take the food out of the oven.
- Placement of the cookware:
Whenever you have your pot or pans placed on the countertop, ensure the face towards the back of the stove. If the handles are facing the edge (towards you) you can easily dislodge them, which becomes disastrous if the contents are hot. At least no one wants hot oil spilling over their feet, not to mention fire.
This rule also applies when the pots/pans are on the stovetop.
- Unplug electrical appliances:
Our kitchens are nowadays a hub for electrical appliances. May it be a slow cooker, a blender, a microwave, the toaster- name them all. After using them, unplug them and turn the socket switch off. In case of faulty wiring in any of these pieces of equipment, the equipment continues to draw power, and if the thermostat overheats, a fire can break out.
Also, remember not to plug these appliances into extension cords. Always power them directly from wall sockets.
- Enforce a kid-free zone:
The USFA recommends that you enforce a 3-foot kid-free zone. This prevents young ones from distracting you as you cook or bringing flammable materials near flames.
Your pets also do not know what fire safety is. You can either train them to stay out of the kitchen entirely or at least off the countertops.
- Be cautious of what you wear:
Long or loose-sleeves are not for the kitchen. Long sleeves can contaminate food if they drag along as you cook. Such sleeves can also catch on pot handles or in the worst-case scenario, catch fire from open flames. These can result in injury or accidents, among them a fire.
Whenever cooking, roll up the sleeves or remove any loose clothing items (scarves and ties).
Long hair poses a similar hazard and should be clipped or contained appropriately.
- Pay attention to the stovetop area:
Always keep the stovetop area free of any flammable materials. Such materials can be what you use as you cook. These include gloves, curtains, wooden and plastic utensils, food packaging, paper napkins, kitchen towels, pot holders, and recipe print-outs. These things must be on the countertop, and at a safe distance.
If one such catches fire, it could spread rapidly especially your attention is elsewhere.
- Keep your appliances clean:
Apart from cleaning being essential to a hygienic kitchen, it also plays a big role in kitchen fire safety. If not cleaned properly and regularly, grease can build up on toasters, toaster ovens, or deep fryer. The built-up grease is extremely flammable, which can be an unforeseen surprise if it catches fire.
- Keep the stovetop clean:
As you cook, leftover food and grease accumulate on the stovetop. These substances should be cleaned as soon as you’re done cooking as they can easily catch fire.
You might want to read the manufacturer’s manual concerning cleaning your stovetop.
- Repair any faults in due time:
Electrical faults and gas leaks have brought down expensive mansions. A gas oven usually has a hosepipe to connect to the gas cylinder. These pipes can suffer a bruise which eventually leads to gas leaks. The gas pipes should be replaced regularly, as well as inspected for any damages.
Power cords are also a culprit of immature damages. Exposed electrical wires can spark if they come into contact with each other, starting a fire.
- Know your appliances:
Different appliances have different power ratings(wattage). This is also the case with power outlet points. If you draw more current than the outlet can safely provide, the supply cable heats up and if it melts, a fire can break out.
Always refer to your appliances’ wattage to avoid overloading your sockets.
- Install smoke detectors:
A smoke detector can save you from massive losses if it sounds the alarm in a good time. If you already have one such safety device, make sure you test it every month and replace batteries annually, or as soon as they die.
- Do not overheat your cooking oil:
Overheated cooking oil bubbles and forms smoke. Bubbling can lead to spillage near the stovetop, which can then ignite a fire.
Cooking oil at its smoking point starts to breakdown to free radicals which have been listed as carcinogenic.
Also, smoke from the oil can falsely trigger a fire alarm, or the sprinkler system, without a fire. How sad!
- Never dispose of hot grease into the trash can:
Hot grease may be at high temperature, enough to ignite something in the trash can. Wait for it to cool down, or put it in say a coffee can and toss into the garbage can.
- Do not throw lit cigarette butts indoors:
Let’s be honest here- smoking in the house is no good, but some of us do it anyway (especially those living alone, or with fellow smokers). A cigarette but thrown into the garbage can ignite other trash and result in a fire.
To avoid such, dispose of the butts outside, or extinguish them satisfactorily before disposing of them indoors.
- Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen:
Sometimes, the worst just happens and you have to deal with it. If your kitchen catches fire, a fire extinguisher would serve you best, instead of just water- besides, water is not at all good for oil fire. Never use it in such a fire. You should keep a fire extinguisher near the cooking area. Bicarbonate in baking soda is found in Class C fire extinguishers which are designed specifically for electrical and being down for weeks —or forever. You should keep a fire extinguisher near the cooking area.
If you do not have a fire extinguisher, you should at least have a large pan lid or a cookie sheet. These will help put out a fire in the cooking pot/pan effectively.
These tips will help you prevent a fire in your kitchen, as well as deal with one in case it happens. If a fire breaks out and you doubt if you can manage it, RUN to safety. It is thus also good to plan for the worst and have an escape plan.
As I have already mentioned, most kitchen fires occur during cooking. Is a factor in one-third (31%) of reported home cooking fires and over half (53%) of the associated deaths and 44% of the injuries The above measures ensure you cook risk-free. You should adhere to all of them, and not just what seems ‘more important’ for your situation.
Rita C. Donnell (Jennifer) has spent the last 26 years studying and practicing nutrition science. She has used a larger part of this time in improving people’s livelihoods. She has done so by coming up with unquestionable ideas on how to tackle food problems in her community. Readmore