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We live in our kitchens. Your family may spend more time in the kitchen than any other room. We cook at home more and more, whether in an effort to save money or to eat healthier. Cooking is wonderful, but it is actually more hazardous than anyone realizes. According to the NFPA, cooking causes almost half (48%) of reported home fires and (45%) home fire injuries, one of every five (22%) home fire deaths, and one-sixth (17%) of the direct property damage from home fires. Follow these helpful tips to prevent cooking fires and the disaster that can result from these fires.
Don’t Let a Fire Go Unknown: Test all of the smoke alarms in your house change the batteries if you cant remember the last time you did it! They should be changed every six months. It is a good habit to always check your kitchen before you leave the house and before you go to bed to make sure everything is turned off.
Personal Firefighting Tools: Keep a fire extinguisher in the house and never use water to put out a kitchen fire. There are different kinds of fire extinguishers. Cooking oils are best extinguished with a Type K extinguisher. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, you need to inspect your fire extinguisher once a month. When hosting a party, before guests arrive, make sure to check that the extinguisher is fully charged.
Water Isn’t The Answer: If a fire starts in a pan on your stove, cover it instead of pouring water on it. Water on a cooking fire will only cause the flames to grow. Grease fires can grow quickly. Turn off the heat source right away if you can do so safely. Do not try to carry the pan containing the fire to another place. If you spill the burning grease, the fire will spread. Salt or baking soda can smoother flames in an oven.
Inspect Outlets and Cords: Make sure electrical outlets in your kitchen and throughout the house arent overloaded with plugs, and that cords arent frayed or cracked.
Clean Up Before You Cook: Make sure the stove top and counters are clean of any grease before you start cooking up a storm. If you spill or splatter grease while cooking, clean that up as well. If a small fire starts, you don’t want grease all over, as that will only cause the fire to spread. Prevent grease from spreading when cooking by covering frying pans with a mesh cover.
Keep An Eye On The Kitchen: Never leave the kitchen unattended and make sure to check the oven often if you are roasting or broiling food. Don’t put food in the oven and then leave the house no matter how long it is supposed to cook. Something unexpected could happen at even low temperatures, causing a fire in your oven. Set a timer so you don’t forget your food while it is cooking. Blow out candles every time you leave a room; you never know who might knock them over (pets included!). Keep anything that can catch fire oven mitts, towels, napkins, etc. away from your stovetop. Frying can be especially hazardous. Here are some great tips for using a turkey fryer.
Protect Yourself: Don’t cook wearing loose, flowing clothing. If your clothes catch fire, remember the golden rule: Stop, Drop, and Roll. This little dance can actually prevent you from getting hurt. If you do get burned, you need to seek medical attention right away. Burns are not something to mess around with.
Call 911: If you do accidentally start a fire and can’t extinguish it immediately, dont be a hero call for help right away. Every minute you wait is another minute the fire has to reek havoc on your beautiful kitchen. Clear everyone out of your home and call 911!
Clean Up Properly: If you do have a cooking fire, you can’t just wipe down your kitchen, spray some febreeze, and move on like nothing happened. You may need smoke, soot, and odor removal. If the fire spread and you did have to call the fire department, you will also need firefighting damage restoration. After a fire, even the minute after the fire department leaves, you can call ServiceMaster Restore. Their highly trained professionals are available 24/7. The quicker you address the damage, the better. In most cases, your kitchen can be restored!
It is a little unnerving that something we all do daily can be so dangerous. We take for granted that we are playing with fire when we cook our family a healthy meal. Follow strict safety practices at your stove and keep your children safe. Protect your home and skip the heartache of a fire by taking your time and making smart choices each and every time you cook. If you are the victim of a kitchen fire, know that there is hope and call in the professionals for clean up, smoke removal, and restoration right away.
While you are cooking safely, cook healthy as well. Here are 5 Steps to a Successful Whole 30 for the Whole Family.
References: ServiceMaster Restore