Kitchen fires are sadly more common than one would hope. However, there are plenty of things you can become aware of to prevent kitchen fires in your home. Some of the tips we’ll layout may seem obvious to you, and others may seem obvious in hindsight. Either way, these tips are simple and safe strategies for any person of any age, or kitchen experience, to keep their kitchen safe. So without further ado, let’s dive into the top 10 tips below!
10 Tips to Prevent Kitchen Fires
Before we jump into the list of tips, let’s take a look at some facts about kitchen fires. Cooking is the most common cause of home fires, unsurprisingly. One of the reasons is that a large majority of people, upwards of 70%, leave their food unattended while cooking at times. Additionally, the most common time of day for a kitchen fire is dinnertime, between the times of 5:00 – 8:00 pm. However, there are also reports stating that roughly 52% of the fire deaths occur between 11:00 pm – 7:00 am, likely due to being asleep. So with all of these facts in mind, let’s get to the tips.
1. Stove safety
The first tip is to remain at your stove whenever you’re cooking on it. Unattended stoves commonly lead to many unfortunate fires.
2. Don’t leave children unattended
Another common cause of kitchen fires is leaving young children unattended in the kitchen. We’re all aware of a child’s need to toy with things and understand the world. Turns out, a kitchen is a horrible place for this youthful curiosity.
3. Clear stovetop
Keeping your stovetop clear and clean is a great way to prevent a fire in the kitchen. Cleaning the old food debris and liquids off of the stovetop before cooking greatly reduces the chance of fire catching anything.
Additionally, make sure there’s nothing hanging over the stove from any side.
4. Set a timer
Setting a timer is a tried and true kitchen fire safety method. Remember we said that many people leave their cooking food unattended? Well, setting a timer is a hedge against the impulse to walk away from your cooking food.
5. Manage grease
Grease contributes to kitchen fires annually. This is because oil and grease pop when it gets too hot. This sometimes leads to the grease popping out of the pan and landing on flammable materials. Additionally, avoid mixing water with hot grease as it acts as an expedient to the grease’s fire. Also, whenever disposing of grease/oil, wait until it has cooled down.
6. Have a fire extinguisher
Another simple tip, and one you hopefully already abide by, is having a fire extinguisher in your home. Any home with a kitchen, appliances, or really any home at all, should most definitely have a fire extinguisher accessible.
Not only that, but each member of the home should be extremely aware of its location and the process by which you engage it in the case of a fire.
7. Only microwave-safe products
This seventh tip is certainly more obvious than others, but be sure to only use microwave-safe dishes and materials. Not all plastics can be microwaved. Metals cannot be microwaved – ever, and even some foods, like a marshmallow, will explode in the microwave.
8. Check smoke detectors
Always have an idea of the status of your smoke detectors. Check them weekly if you can, and even more frequently if you’re capable of it. Smoke detectors should be tested with high frequency because just one misfiring or broken smoke detector could cost lives.
Additionally, smoke detectors often require larger batteries like 9V batteries that aren’t always readily available in your home. Because of this, frequent testing and storing extra batteries will go a long way.
9. Dress for the kitchen
Loose-fitting clothes are a hazard in the kitchen, especially when doing intensive work over the stove or constantly going in and out of the oven. This is why a cooking apron is useful, it helps to keep any hanging clothing tight to the body, reducing the surface space/material where a fire could start.
10. Don’t cook intoxicated
We know, a greasy burger or plate of fries seems glorious when one’s a bit buzzed, but really you shouldn’t be engaging in buzzed or intoxicated cooking. If you’re able to, order out or visit a take-out spot. And if you insist on going at it in the kitchen when intoxicated, try to avoid heated foods or foods that need cooking.
So after reviewing these fire prevention tips for the kitchen, you should feel confident you can keep fires out of your home and keep the kitchen a fun and enjoyable place. Whether it be with your kids or your significant other, keep your eyes peeled in the kitchen and always act as if there is a chance a fire could start. In doing so, you’ll be prepared should the worst-case scenario present itself.
The kitchen is near and dear to our hearts as people. Keeping it safe is one of the most important features of homeownership or being responsible for the space you inhabit.