Did you know that kitchens are the epicenter of most fire incidents? Follow these tips to prevent kitchen fires at home.
Many of us love cooking, but it’s also one of the leading causes of fire accidents and injuries in homes and other types of properties. In each of the years from 2014 to 2016, firefighting teams in the US responded to over 188,000 residential cooking fires. These incidents resulted in 3,800 injuries, 195 deaths, and $463 million in property loss, according to the US Fire Administration.
More importantly, the bulk of kitchen fire injuries occur when victims try to fight the fire themselves. Wouldn’t it be safer to avoid the chances of fire altogether?
Here are some valuable tips to prevent fire accidents in your kitchen:
Stay in the Kitchen While Cooking
The majority of kitchen fires result from cooks leaving the food on the stove unattended. Stay in the kitchen, especially if the stove or oven is running at very high heat or you’re cooking with grease.
If you need to leave the kitchen to answer your phone, open the door, or any other reason, turn off the burner before leaving. Alternatively, call someone else to take care of things while you’re away.
Don’t Cook Under the Influence
It’s strongly advised that you don’t cook while you are impaired. Under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your cognitive and physical performance declines and you may exercise less caution. It’s best to order your favorite food from a nearby restaurant when under the influence.
Make Sure Your Smoke Detector is Working Properly
Like many homeowners, you must have installed a smoke detector in or near your kitchen. However, that’s not enough. Many residential fire-related incidents occur because the smoke detector was not in working order. Therefore, keep inspecting your smoke detector and replace its batteries every six months.
Be Mindful of What You Place Near the Stove
If allowed to sit near the burner, items such as oven mitts, kitchen towels, curtains, or appliance cords can abruptly catch fire. Not only should you avoid keeping flammable items near the burner and oven, but you should also stay cautious when using a towel to lift or move items from the stove. The material should not dangle down, and come into contact with the burner.
Keep a Fire Extinguisher Near the Kitchen
You must have expected this one coming but do you know which fire extinguisher to use for kitchens? Foam, dry, and water extinguishers aren’t suitable for kitchen environments. A UL-Rated 5-B: C extinguisher is what you need. The Class B rating works best for flammable gas and liquid fires, such as those emerging from cooking oils, where the Class C rating is designed to extinguish fires erupting from electric equipment, including kitchen appliances.
Following the above-explained tips should help prevent kitchen fires, but nothing is certain. Fire incidents can still occur for unexplained reasons.