Sadly, more fires start in the kitchen than in any other place in the home. Two of every five home fires start in the kitchen while food is cooking. Beyond being common, cooking fires are also deadly. On average, they cause 44 percent of home fires, 15 percent of home fire deaths and 38 percent of home fire injuries each year.
Tips to prevent Kitchen Fire
Keep the stovetop clean
Cooking on a regular basis leads to build-up from substances like leftover food and grease, which can easily catch fire. Wipe up spills and clean the area regularly with white vinegar or any surface cleaner.
- Before events when you know you’ll be cooking a lot, such as parties and holidays, give the stovetop and oven a thorough cleaning to prevent any disasters that could ruin the day.
- Different types of stovetops require different deep-cleaning techniques. On a glass stovetop, use baking soda and a damp towel to soak and loosen the build-up before scraping it off.
- For coil burners, remove and scrub the coils as well as the drip pans, or replace the drip pan liners.
- With gas burner cooktops, soak and scrub the grate in soapy water and use a vinegar and water mixture to scrub the cooktop. Use dish soap and a toothbrush to remove any stubborn grease build-up.
Keep appliances clean
Just as with the counters, check for grease or food build-up on your kitchen appliances, such as toasters, toaster ovens, electric griddles, and deep fryers. After many uses, appliances can develop build-up of flammable substances. Use an oil-based cleaner or a mixture of concentrated liquid dish soap and baking soda to scrub away the grease and food.
Regularly inspect and service your appliances
Regular inspections of your appliances, whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, are also important to determine whether the items need servicing.
- Completing an inspection yourself may save you some money, but it is a lengthy and involved process, and if you are not an expert you may miss some important details.
- One quick inspection you can easily do yourself is to examine electrical cords occasionally to make sure they’re not broken or frayed. If the cords are compromised, replace them.
Unplug electric appliances when you’re not using them
Even when appliances are turned off, they still draw an electrical current. If the product is faulty or defective, leaving it plugged in can start an electrical fire.
- Develop a habit of unplugging all appliances before you go to bed or leave for long trips.
- When you do use the appliances, plug them straight into the electrical outlet. Never use an extension cord or power strips, as these may overheat and start a fire.
Don’t leave cooking food unattended
If you’re frying, broiling, boiling, or grilling any food, you must stay in the kitchen. If you need to leave, turn off the burner first. If you’re baking, broiling, or simmering food, set a timer and check it regularly.
Watch what you’re cooking
Many fires result from cooking at too-high temperatures. Keep an eye on your food and turn off the burner if you see smoke or grease boiling.
Keep children away from the stovetop
Make a rule that they must stay at least 3 feet (0.91 m) away from the cooking area, or any area where hot food and drink is being prepared.
If you have children, consider purchasing a stove guard, a barrier that prevents children from touching hot surfaces and protects from burns.
Don’t wear long, loose sleeves while cooking
Loose clothing can easily drag through food, touch open flame, or catch on pot handles. Roll up long sleeves or wear close-fit clothing to avoid this hazard.
- Before you start cooking, remove any other loose articles of clothing like scarves or ties.
- If your curtains are close to the stovetop, consider using blinds instead.
Don’t use metal objects in the microwave
Microwaving metal objects like aluminium foil or silverware can create sparks and set off a fire.