It’s great to enjoy spending time in the kitchen, but it’s crucial to cook safely to avoid kitchen fires. Did you know that kitchen fires are the leading cause of house fires? Taking preventive measures can drastically reduce the risk of a fire starting in your kitchen that could spread through your house. Here are ten ways to prevent kitchen fires in your home.
- Turn off the oven and stove!
It is all too easy to finish cooking but forget to turn off your oven or stove. Believe it or not, having your burner burn out (literally) is not the worst thing that can come from this–a fire can also start. And it can rage, destroying your entire kitchen with the flames leaping to other rooms.
A great way to remember to turn off your oven or stove is to turn on your exhaust fan. Write “Turn off oven/stove” on a sticky note, and tape it to your exhaust fan. Then, every time you turn the fan off to make your kitchen quiet again, you’ll remember to turn everything off!
- Stay with your food when broiling, grilling, sauteeing, or frying.
It’s always a good idea to stay near your food while cooking it. After all, you don’t want to eat burnt food. But some types of cooking that require high heat need your undivided attention.
If you’re broiling, grilling, sauteeing, or frying food, you’ll want to stand right there to monitor it closely, prevent grease spills, and flip food over when necessary.
- Stay in your house when you’re simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling.
Other types of cooking don’t require constant attention, but there’s still a risk of starting a fire if left unattended for too long, so it’s a good idea to stay in your house.
The difference between broiling vs. baking is the temperature. Broiling is often done at 500 or more degrees. Most baking is down between 325 to 425 degrees. Using lower heat temps reduces the risk of kitchen fires.
- Avoid clothes or jewelry that could easily catch fire.
While puffy sleeves are great for special occasions, it’s not a good idea to cook with them on. We recommend rolling your sleeves up or changing into a different shirt. It’s also good to take off your jewelry before turning the heat on.
It’s super easy for clothes or jewelry to catch fire, so temporarily removing those fire hazards is your best bet to prevent a fire from starting. Plus, it would be excruciating to have your sleeve catch on fire!
- Keep flammable objects away from the stove.
You might be tempted to keep an oven mitt on hand when you drain your pasta, but you shouldn’t keep it on the stove. Pot warmers, oven mitts, and the like are flammable and could quickly start a fire.
Here’s a comprehensive list of everything you should keep off your hot stove:
– Paper napkins.
– Paper towels.
– Paper bags.
– Recipe cards/books.
– Food packaging.
– Wooden utensils.
- Keep kids and pets out of the kitchen while you’re cooking.
Distractions are a massive cause of kitchen fires. It’s advisable to keep kids and pets out of the kitchen while cooking. Looking away from the stove can be dangerous, but kids can easily move flammable objects back onto the stove after you’ve removed them.
- Clean kitchen surfaces daily.
It’s vital to keep your kitchen clean, not only for germs but also to avoid kitchen fires. Leftover food and grease can easily catch fire. It’s a good idea to wipe down your stovetop after you’re done cooking or whenever you have company over. Also, pay attention to coils and drip pan liners.
Another recommendation is to clean your toaster, microwave, electric griddle, deep fryers, air fryers, and other cooking appliances. Food and grease build-up on those appliances can just as easily start fires if they get hot enough.
- Be careful with cooking oils.
Not all oils are equal, and that includes their smoking temperature. Safflower oil won’t smoke until it reaches 510 degrees, while avocado oil will smoke at 375 degrees.
Pay attention to the smoking point for the oil you’re using. Smoke will set off your fire alarm, your food will burn, and you might start a fire.
- Pay attention to your smoke alarm.
Take it seriously if your smoke alarm goes off! It can be easy to ignore if there’s just a little smoke. But your smoke alarm serves as a warning sign that there’s too much smoke.
If your fire alarm goes off while cooking, we recommend turning everything off and opening up windows and doors to let the smoke out.
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
We highly recommend keeping a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. If a fire does start, even after all the precautionary measures you’ve taken, you’ll want to put it out as quickly as possible.
Having it right there is super important. The fire could quickly spread if you have the extinguisher in a different room in your house—when it comes to putting out fires, every second counts.
Following these ten tips will help prevent a fire in your kitchen. A fire that never starts can’t travel to other rooms or put anyone’s life in danger.
Black Diamond Restoration
But as much as we all try to prevent kitchen fires, it’s impossible to safeguard against every situation. If you’ve had a fire, call Black Diamond Restoration today. Our experts will come to your home, assess the damage, and help restore your kitchen and home to their full functions.
Based in Murray, Utah, Black Diamond Restoration has been restoring homes from fire damage for years. We also restore areas suffering from water, mold, sewage, and storm damage. We serve Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas, and we’re available 24/7. When a fire leaves damage, smoke, and soot in your home or business, we’ll be there to help you. Contact us today to get started!