Believe it or not, nearly half of all fires happen in the kitchen. And believe it or not – that’s both at work AND in the home! In total – kitchen fires alone are responsible for up to 180,000 fires a year and nearly $7 billion in damages.
Keeping your home or place of work safe from fires should always be a priority and as such, here are a few ways you can prevent a blaze from beginning in your kitchen and some of the things you can do to be more proactive in your pursuit of total fire protection. Let’s jump right in!
When you’re cooking, stay in the kitchen
Being present is important whenever you’re operating anything that generates heat in your kitchen – whether it’s a stove, oven, microwave or toaster. If you have to leave the room, then turn the heat source off. The #1 culprits responsible for kitchen fires are heat-generating appliances – so stay in the room while you’re cooking.
Take care when cooking
Being more fire safety conscious is simply making sure you’re in control yourself and the environment around yourself. Don’t wear long, droopy shirts when you cook. If you have long hair, keep it up in a bun. Combustibles like food packaging, bags, paper towels and appliance chords should always be kept away from your stovetop or any area where there are high temperatures. Just being more mindful of the little things can make a big difference.
This one should go without saying, but you’d be amazed at the number of people who clean their dishes off once their meal is done and call it a day. They leave all sorts of things laying around – from garbage, to old food and worst of all – grease and buildup that can catch fire. Make sure you wipe everything down and clean up all your trash when you’re done eating. What’s left around can become a fire hazard – even when it’s in the sink!
A lot of time, the best thing you can is take preventative measures in order to avoid a kitchen fire. You should already have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. If you don’t, put one there. Check your smoke alarms to make sure you’re protected against any surprises. And most important – keep your appliances unplugged when they’re not in use! A simple run through every 3 months or so to check on things like battery life and the like can go a long ways towards keeping your kitchen safe from a fire.
Use your head
Common sense goes further than just about anything when it comes to preventing kitchen fires. Use a timer when you cook. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions with regards to installation and use. Don’t put metal in microwaves and don’t throw anything that’s not food into the toaster. Bad things happen rarely because of catastrophe, they mostly happen because we’re simply not paying attention. Stay sharp and follow a lot of the rules you already know.
Follow these guidelines and you will keep both you and your family safe year-round. Good luck and if you need a walk-through to see what you can do to make your home safer, give us a call!