Tips to Prevent Kitchen Fires
Cooking fires are not only the leading cause of home structure fires, the majority of kitchen fire injuries occur when victims try to fight the fire themselves. Wouldn’t it be smarter to avoid cooking fires altogether? You can, with the following kitchen safety tips from third generation and 30-year fire department veteran John Borboa, fire chief in the Central Valley of California.
1. Stay in the kitchen
“The most common fires occur from people leaving food on the stove unattended. Don’t leave the kitchen while you have things cooking,”. If you have to leave the kitchen, turn off the stove and take your pots and pans off the heat. This is equally importan, if you are broiling food in the oven – take the food out of the oven and turn off the broiler.
2. Watch your clothing
Long, flowing sleeves, large-fitting shirts and even aprons can catch fire. When cooking, wear short or close-fitted sleeves and keep your baggy shirts tucked in or tied back with a well-fitted apron.
3. Be aware of the items around the stovetop
Kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords and even curtains can easily catch fire if set near a hot burner. Always move flammable items away from your stovetop. “And be careful when using towels to move a pot off the burner. Ideally, use an oven mitt, but if using a towel, be sure it doesn’t dangle down and touch the burner,”.
4. Keep a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen
In the case you do have a fire, a fire extinguisher can make the difference between an easy to clean up burned pan and a kitchen engulfed in flames. Be sure you actually know how to use it, too.
5. Change the batteries in your smoke detector
Chances are you have a smoke detector in the kitchen or in the room adjacent to the kitchen. It's not enough to have a smoke detector – you need to make sure the smoke detector is operable. Change your smoke detector batteries every six months.
6. Never throw hot grease in the garbage can
“First of all, know the smoke points of your oils and never subject an oil with a low smoke point to high heat cooking – it can catch fire,”. “Second, never throw hot grease in the garbage can. Even if the grease isn’t on fire, it can cause something in the garbage to burn.” Instead, let grease cool and dispose of it in an old coffee can.
7. Extinguish candles
Keep your candlelit dinners romantic by keeping the heat only between you and your mate. Candles are another common cause of house fires. In addition to using wider, shorter candles, which are less likely to tip over, be sure to extinguish candle flames as soon as you are done in the kitchen.
8. Have a fire escape plan
Keep the fire department telephone number written and/or programmed on your telephone. Sit down with your family and have a fire escape plan that includes getting out of the house and meeting outside in a designated area. It’s important that your family – especially your kids – know what to do before a fire occurs. Practice your plan every month.
9. Stop, drop, roll
“In the event you do catch fire, follow the Stop, Drop, Roll Principal. Don’t run if your clothing catches fire – stop where you are, drop to the ground, and roll,”. Then get to a hospital to get treatment for your burns.
Don’t ever hesitate to call your local fire department – even if you have successfully put out your fire. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Practice fire prevention measures every time you are in the kitchen, and be sure to pass the measures on to your kids.
Source – SheKnows