KITCHEN FIRES- HOW TO PREVENT AND PUT THEM OUT
As warmer temperatures are right around the corner, so are the various outdoor activities, parties and barbecues. While the main course can be cooked outside, the side dishes and desserts usually aren’t. Whether these are old family recipes, or new experimental ones, cooking in the kitchen amidst the craziness of planning a party can sometimes lead to the last thing that any amateur baker, or even a professional baker for that matter, wants to experience: a kitchen fire.
All types of home fires are extremely dangerous, but most are preventable, especially when it comes to the kitchen. Kitchen fires account for roughly 40% of all home fires and 36% of all fire-related injuries according to the National Fire Protection Association. So in order to stay safe, follow these easy safety tips, courtesy of the NFPA.
HOW TO PREVENT A KITCHEN FIRE
- Always be alert. Parties and barbecues are fun events where people are going to want to let loose a little bit and celebrate. But sometimes, celebrations can get chaotic and out of hand. Where chaos happens, so can calamity. These are times it is best to avoid cooking. Even if you are just coming home from a late night out or a long work shift, make sure you are awake enough to keep an eye on what you are cooking. If you’re too tired or too tipsy, do not use the stove or oven.
- Never leave the kitchen — even for a short time — when food is frying, grilling, or broiling and don’t leave the house if food is simmering, baking, or roasting. No matter how “fast” you think you might be or how much you think you have it under control, leaving food cooking without supervision is a recipe for disaster. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
- Don’t trust yourself to remember just how long food has been cooking. Set a timer to remind yourself that when it’s time to do the next step or if the food is done. Don’t let yourself get distracted and forget about the food cooking on the stove or in the oven. Overcooked food can lead to very preventable kitchen fires.
- Clear stovetops of anything that can catch fire like cloth and paper towels, oven mitts, and wooden spoons.
HOW TO PUT OUT A KITCHEN FIRE
If the unthinkable does happen, make sure to stay calm and stay safe. Follow these steps in the case of a kitchen fire:
- Get out of the kitchen. Close the door behind you when you leave to help prevent the fire from spreading to the rest of your house.
- When you reach safety, call 911 or another local emergency number.
- Make sure others are out of the house and that a solid escape route is in place before attempting to put out a fire.
- Smother a grease fire by sliding a pot lid over the pan and turning off the stove. Don’t remove the lid until the pan is cool.
- If your oven catches fire, turn it off and keep the door closed.
After a kitchen fire has been successfully put out, call a qualified professional, like Perfection Cleaning, to ensure the damage is completely and safely cleaned up and repaired.