According to the U.S Fire Administration, more than 50% of house fires start from the kitchen. Some say we can’t escape fate but we should play our part and take precautionary measures while cooking to prevent kitchen fires for our safety. We should maintain our kitchen to minimize the risk of fire. I have gathered a list of useful safety tips for you. Next time you are in your kitchen keep these useful safety tips in your mind to minimize the risk of kitchen fires.
- Keep Your Stovetop Clean
- Keep Your Kitchen Clean
- Use Smoke Detectors
- Be Careful While Using the Stove
- Maintain Personal Safety
- Keep an Eye on Kids
1. Keep Your Stovetop Clean
Clean your stovetop regularly as there can be leftover substances like oil or grease which can catch fire easily. Due to regular cooking there remain leftovers of oily food and sometimes other oily substance that can cause a fire. So you should keep your stovetop clean to minimize the risk of fire.
- Develop a habit of cleaning your stove and stovetop regularly before and after cooking.
- There are different techniques to clean different types of stove. For example, you can use baking soda and a damp towel to clean glass stovetop while you have to clean coils and drip pans.
- Keep oily and other flammable substances away from your stovetop.
- Keep wooden spoons, paper towels, towels, and other flammable items away from your stovetop.
- Keep plastic bags, paper packaging and other electronic appliances away from your stovetop.
2. Keep Your Kitchen Clean
Similarly, keep your kitchen maintained and clean it regularly to avoid any mishap.
- If your oil bottle is leaked or you mistakenly dropped oil on the floor, clean it. There should not be any residual of flammable oil or grease on the kitchen floor.
- All waste should go into the waste bin, there should not be any flammable waste in your kitchen.
- Do not clean kitchen shelves and floor with any flammable cleaning liquid.
- Clean your kitchen on a regular basis.
3. Use Electrical Kitchen Appliances Wisely
Electrical appliances can be a cause of kitchen fire. Whether you are using kitchen appliances or other home appliances, you should use them with care as they can catch fire easily. Here are some tips for you to avoid any electrical fire or shock.
- Clean your electrical appliances with a dry towel regularly. Remove any grease, crumbs or other food leftovers.
- Always unplug the appliance after use, never leave any electrical appliance plugged in Or running, this can cause serious damage.
- Always read instruction manuals for all appliance and follow the instruction while using and cleaning your appliance.
- Regularly inspect and service your electrical appliances. For example, check the cords of your devices and replace them if they are cracked or damaged, etc. If you are not an expert, contact an expert and get your appliances serviced.
- Some device gets hot while in use, let them cool down completely before storing them.
- Avoid the use of extension cords and plug in the appliances directly. If somehow, you have to use the extension cord, do it very carefully.
- Never use electrical appliances near the stovetop.
- Be present while any appliance is in use, don’t leave any running appliance unattended.
Extra Precautions while using Appliances like Microwave Oven
- Never put any metallic object in the microwave. Usually, people are aware of that and don’t put metallic pots and utensils in the microwave.
- But things like aluminum foil, this-tie wraps, bread can and other things that have a metallic body should be kept out of the microwave oven.
- Always use Microwave safe and oven friendly plastic pots and utensils.
- Always use pot holders or gloves for removing food from the microwave oven.
4. Use Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors are useful to avoid major loss, you should install smoke detectors on every floor of your house.
- Some people turn off or uninstall smoke detectors from the kitchen due to false alarms. Don’t do it.
- As there can be false alarms due to steam and smoke produced while cooking, install the smoke detector just outside the kitchen, so there will be no false alarms, but it will be able to sense actual kitchen fires.
- You should test and maintain your smoke detectors regularly, if any smoke detector is out of order, get it repaired or replace it with a new one.
5. Be Careful While Using the Stove
Be careful while using any kind of stove. No matter what type of stove you are using it’s always dangerous to play with fire.
- Be careful while using electric stoves and keep the socket and plug from getting wet.
- Take extra care while using gas stoves, you should regularly check for gas leakages.
- If you want to use gas cylinders, for example, LPG gas cylinders. You should buy a good quality cylinder (there should be no joint and should be made of strong metal).
- Do not shake the cylinder.
- Try to keep the cylinder out of the kitchen in a cooler place and take a good quality pipe to the stove in the kitchen.
- You should immediately light up the burner after you turn on the gas to avoid any mishaps.
- Always turn off the stove after cooking.
- Always check if there is any gas smell or any smell of other fuel before lightening up the burner.
6. Maintain Personal Safety
Personal safety is also necessary to avoid the risk of a kitchen fire. Below are some tips to prevent you from any kind of mishap.
- Don’t leave cooking food unattended, I myself have boiled over milk various times while I was playing games on the mobile phone. If you need to go out of the kitchen turn off the burner first.
- Always use pot holders, oven mitts or other gloves to handle hot utensils.
- Avoid wearing long and loose sleeve shirts to avoid any risk of fire. If you have long sleeves roll them up before cooking and don’t forget to tie up your long hairs too.
- Before cooking remove any loose clothing like scarves and dupattas etc.
- Don’t overheat any food material, watch what you are cooking and avoid cooking at too high temperatures.
- Pay attention to the placement of handles while cooking. You can easily bump into long handles of pots, so turn the pot and pan handles towards the back of the stove to avoid kitchen fire.
- Keep children and pets away from the cooking surface.
- While deep frying, don’t overfill the pots with oil as deep fryers can tip over and cause a kitchen fire. If you have to deep fry something just fill one-third of the pot with oil and keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
- Keep a fire extinguisher, a large pot lid, baking soda, oven mitts handy while cooking as a precaution.
7. Keep an Eye on Children
Kids are unstoppable, they will run here and there and can do things that can harm them or can cause a kitchen fire.
- Keep the children out of the kitchen while you are cooking.
- Keep flammable substances like oil away from children.
- Make a rule for kids that they have to stay at least 3 feet away from the cooking area.
- Purchase a barrier or something like that to keep the children away from the cooking area.
- Never leave kids unattended in the kitchen to avoid any mishap.
More Tips and Warnings to Avoid Kitchen Fire
- Never try to put down electric or grease fire with water, water will make it worse. Use a large pot lid, baking soda or chemical fire extinguisher to put down the fire.
- Keep a chemical fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen for extra protection. And get training on how to use it properly.
- Never cook if you are not in good health, sleep, taking any medicine that can cause drowsiness or have been drinking.
- Before buying appliances like oven and stove always check that the product is tested by a reputed laboratory.
- If oven gets fire, shut the oven door and unplug it immidately.
- Don’t leave candles or anything like that unattended.
- Always keep your smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher in good condition.
- Always be prepared to put down the kitchen fire. Though you will not let that happen by taking precautionary measures. But you should always be ready for any mishaps.
- Never pick up the burning pan, never try to throw water on it and never try to throw the pan in the sink. You can spread the fire or can be injured while doing this.
- Have a fire escape plan ready, work it through and practice it occasionally with your family. So that it will be easy for you to escape the house in case of a major kitchen fire.
- If somehow you catch fire, don’t run, this way fire will get more oxygen and will spread. Instead, stop, lay on the ground and roll to put down the fire.
- Don’t try to be a hero, if there is a kitchen fire, immediately call 911 or any other emergency services that work in your area.
- Even if you have put down the fire yourself, don’t hesitate to call your local department just for safety purpose. It’s better to be safe than sorry.