How to Avoid Fire Hazards in the Kitchen
The kitchen can be a wonderful place for family and friends to gather, spending quality time as food is being prepared to share or perhaps just to catch up with family and friends over a cup of coffee or tea. Unfortunately, the kitchen is also the space where many home fires happen.
Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries, and the leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.
In 2017, State Farm paid out over $130 million in homeowners insurance claims related to grease and other cooking fires. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:
- North Carolina
- New York
Staying in the kitchen while cooking is one way to prevent fires, but it is not the only fire safety tip you should be following. Here are some other helpful tips to observe while cooking:
1. Be careful about the type of clothing you wear when cooking. Does your outfit have long, flowing sleeves or is it big and baggy? It could catch on fire if you aren’t careful while cooking over the stove. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.
2. Be aware of what you have close to the stovetop. Make sure you don’t have kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking. Ideally, anything flammable should be moved away from it.
3. Have a fire extinguisher easily accessible to the kitchen. Hopefully you have at least one fire extinguisher located in your home, ideally one that is near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.
4. Wait until grease is cool before disposing of it. The grease may not be on fire, but it could be hot enough to cause something in the trash to burn. You should let the grease cool a bit and then dispose of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the smoke points of the oils you cook with. Be sure to never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.
5. Have a fire escape plan established for all to be aware of. Thinking about the worst-case scenario is never fun, but it’s better to be prepared rather than unprepared if an emergency were to occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.
Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City is here to make it “Like it never even happened.” Call today to learn more about our complete fire damage restoration services at 702-564-8508.