Just as bathrooms are often ground zero for water damage, as they are where you use the most water, kitchens tend to be the most common spot in the home for fire damage, as this is the area in your home where you interact most directly with fire. We all need a working oven as well as other appliances to cook and prepare food, but you don’t have to neglect proper safety habits to become a great chef. Keep reading to learn how to prevent a kitchen fire while still maintaining a functioning food prep area, and remember that for all your fire and smoke cleanup and restoration needs, you can always trust our pros at FP Property Restoration.
The Top 10 Ways to Prevent a Kitchen Fire
- Keep Your Appliances Clean: Ensuring that your appliances are properly cleaned, serviced, and generally kept in good repair is one of the most essential parts of preventing kitchen fires. For instance, make sure to empty your toaster occasionally, dumping out the crumb tray when it gets too full. You should also periodically wipe down your microwave, and of course, your oven should be cleaned semi-regularly. And remember, if any of your appliances have not been performing properly, have them either repaired or replaced as soon as possible.And speaking of appliances…
- Unplug Electric Appliances: In addition to potentially saving on power costs, you can also increase safety in your kitchen by unplugging electrical appliances when they are not in use. This includes devices like your toaster oven, mixer, coffee maker, crockpot, etc. The older these appliances are, the greater chance there is that they will start to malfunction, or that their wiring is faulty, so periodically inspect them when plugging them in. And to reiterate, never hesitate to replace an item once it becomes out-of-date. After all, no matter how attached you may be to that old coffee maker from college, it’s not worth starting a kitchen fire over!
- Install a Smoke Detector Near Your Kitchen: Of course, smoke detectors are an essential part of stopping residential fires, so it is always a good idea to install one near the kitchen. While you don’t want to put your smoke detector in the kitchen necessarily, as this may cause it to go off anytime there is a little smoke or steam coming from your cooking, putting one in the next room should do the trick.
- Be Careful When Turning on Your Gas Stove: Gas stoves always have a pilot light, not unlike that of your furnace. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when turning a gas stove on, and if you keep hearing that clicking sound and nothing is happening, do not persist. Trying to light a stove for too long can cause excess gas to be released, and a pilot light that isn’t working properly may indicate that you have a larger problem with your stove altogether.
- Never Put Metal in the Microwave: While it can be easy to forget that aluminum takeout container is not microwave safe, it truly is essential that you never put metal in a microwave, as the sparks that will ensue may not only damage your appliance, but can also cause a serious fire.
- Remember to Wipe Down Your Stove: Cleaning your stove periodically will help prevent a dangerous situation, as grease buildup is one of the most common causes of kitchen fires. And speaking of grease…
- Be Careful with Grease & Oil When Cooking: It’s okay to use a little bit of grease and oil when you cook, but you should always try to limit the amount you are putting in your pots and pans. Not only will this help you cook healthier food, it will also prevent that grease from splattering everywhere and potentially causing a fire.
- Roll Up Long Sleeves When Cooking: For practical reasons, long sleeves make it more difficult to cook. You don’t want your shirt getting in the way of your food, and potentially getting ruined because of a stain. In addition, if the sleeve should end up accidentally catching on fire, you could get seriously burned in the process.
- Don’t Leave Food Unattended: We understand that it can be easy when cooking to get distracted by your phone, or to leave for a minute to pop into the bathroom. But as tempting as it may be to look away from a sizzling pan or boiling crockpot, you should try to avoid leaving food unattended whenever possible. This is especially true if you are cooking with any amount of grease or oil. Not only will turning the burners off if you have to look away prevent your food from getting burned, it will also help stop a potentially dangerous fire from occurring.
- Store Towels Away from the Stove: Any kind of kitchen fabrics, from towels to rags to pot holders should be kept in a place that’s not close to the stove. This goes for paper towels, too. Accidentally leaving a burner on and turning around to find out that a towel has caught on fire is a great way to end up damaging your kitchen or larger property.