7 Ingredients for Kitchen Fire Safety

kitchen fireYour kitchen. It’s the heart of the home, isn’t it? A warm, welcoming spot that invites gathering…inspires creativity…and when the recipe gods cooperate, gives back with great taste. Such a fixture of everyday life is the kitchen that the last thing one expects to cook up within it is a life-threatening (and home-damaging) fire. Yet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that between 2008 and 2010, cooking equipment was the number-one cause of house fires—approximately 150,000. And cooking itself was the culprit of the largest percentage of fire-related injuries in the home. The National Fire Protection Association offers up further details: The majority of kitchen fire injuries occur when victims attempt to douse the flames themselves. Rule one is to never hesitate to call the fire department, even if dealing with a small, contained fire or a blaze that you think…well, maybe?…has been extinguished. Erring on the side of caution has thwarted many a kitchen fire from hungrily spreading room-to-room and consuming everything within its path.

Kitchen Fire Prevention Tips

Here are some additional tips to avoid kitchen fire danger and damage:
  • Never walk away from food that’s cooking on the stovetop; the same goes for anything broiling inside the oven. If you must leave, turn off the stove or oven and remove pans or baking dishes from heat.
  • Make sure you have a smoke detector in or near the kitchen and install a fresh battery every six months.
  • No kitchen is complete without a kitchen fire extinguisher, as well. But it’s not enough to have one—learn how to use it before a fire breaks out.
  • Be aware that baggy shirts, clothing with long, flowing sleeves and even aprons can easily catch fire while cooking.
  • Don’t leave kitchen towels, appliance cords, oven mitts and other flammable items near a hot burner.
  • A candlelit dinner is romantic, but candles are another common cause of house fires. Use short, fat candles that are less likely to tip over and extinguish candles as soon as your flirtatious feast is finished.
  • And of course, every household should have—and practice—a fire escape plan. Talk together about how to call the fire department, the best ways to exit the house and where you’ll meet up outside.

Common types of kitchen fires and how to prevent them

Should a kitchen fire erupt despite your best precautions, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with the most common types of kitchen fires and how to handle them.

Grease fires

Grease fires are in a class by themselves and cannot be extinguished with water. Grease is lighter than water; it will float to the top and continue burning on the water’s surface. Instead, the way to handle a grease fire is to smother it with a pan lid and wait for it to die out. Or grab a box of baking soda from the fridge or cabinet and give it a few good shakes to displace the oxygen and kill the flames.

Oven and microwave fires

If a blaze suddenly sparks up inside your oven or microwave, shut the appliance door tightly and turn it off. Unplug the microwave, if it’s safe to do so. If the fire lingers beyond a few moments, call the fire department. And be sure to have the appliance inspected and repaired before using it again.

Electrical fires

Like grease fires, electrical fires cannot be eliminated with water. This is a job for your kitchen fire extinguisher. After you’ve put out an electrical fire, follow up right away with the fire department to ensure your kitchen is safe. To prevent electrical fires in the first place, make sure your outlets are not overloaded with too many appliances. By familiarizing yourself with prevention tips and common types of household kitchen fires, the only things you’ll create in the kitchen are delicious meals and happy memories—not frightening statistics. Be safe and bon appetit! Sources: cpsc.gov; everydayhealth.com; sheknows.com LDR Construction Services, Inc. Cleaning & Restoration has proudly served all of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin since 1991. LDR specializes in the complete fire damage restoration, smoke remediation, wind and water damage restoration as well as repairs of vandalism damage to both commercial and residential properties. Capable of handling any size loss and working with all types of insurance providers, the LDR disaster restoration team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. For more information, visit www.ldr4service.com or call 1-888-874-7066. Image courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net Save $25 on Air Duct Cleaning - Free Coupon  


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