If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year, chances are your oven is going to be getting a lot of use. It’s important to practice good safety in the kitchen year round, but with the number of people that will be coming in and out and the workout your oven is going to be getting, it is particularly important to keep a watchful eye during the holidays. Keep reading to learn how to prevent an oven fire this Thanksgiving, and remember that if your home has experienced any fire damage, you can rely on our team at FP Property Restoration.
10 Ways Prevent an Oven Fire
- Have Your Oven Cleaned & Serviced: Like any piece of important equipment, your oven requires a certain amount of maintenance to function well. Make sure to clean it before Thanksgiving, and if you cannot remember the last time you had it serviced, consider calling someone to take a look at it.
- Do Not Leave While Food Is Cooking: We understand that it may be tempting to run out for last-minute supplies while that turkey is in the oven, but we caution you against doing this at all costs. Even if your oven is in good shape, accidents can happen, and you always want to keep a close eye on it when food is cooking (this will ensure your food doesn’t get ruined, too!)
- Don’t Forget to Cover Your Food: When heating up those side dishes that might splatter, don’t forget to put a proper covering on them. Even if all you have is tinfoil, it’s better than nothing, as errant grease in your oven is a recipe for accidental fires.
- Make Sure There Are Batteries in Your Smoke Detector: Smoke detectors save lives, and when it comes to kitchen fires, they can be the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major emergency. Make sure your smoke alarm has batteries before you start cooking this year. And if you do not have a smoke alarm, get one installed at least six feet from the kitchen (this distance will help you avoid false alarms.)
- Watch Out for Kids & Pets: We know you already have a lot to keep track of without worrying about those little ones underfoot, but it is of the utmost importance that someone is keeping an eye on children and pets and keeping them out of the kitchen whenever possible. The last thing you want is for your oven to injure a member of your family, plus this just makes it easier to cook, too.
- Keep an Eye on Temperatures: Monitoring cooking temperatures helps you determine when something is done and when it needs more time, but it will also make sure nothing is getting dangerously overheated. We highly suggest purchasing an instant-read thermometer to do this if you do not have one already.
- Set a Timer: Another important part of monitoring your food is knowing how long to cook things for. It can be so easy to forget about dishes in the oven when there are a bunch of things going on, and using a timer will guarantee that your food doesn’t get overcooked and your oven doesn’t accidentally cause a fire.
- Purchase a Fire Extinguisher: We know this may sound extreme, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. A standard ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher is affordable, and it can make all the difference if an oven fire suddenly breaks out.
- Watch Out for Boiling Water/Use the Correct Pots: An accidental mistake people often make is using the wrong size pots to cook their food. This is a great way to cause the water to become dangerously hot, and potentially boil over.
- Never Use Your Oven for Anything Other Than Its Intended Purpose: An oven has one job, which is to cook your food. Some people use their oven for storage, but this can be risky, in cases where people accidentally leave the heat on. Even worse is using an oven as a heat source for your whole house, as this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, and even in the case of electrical ovens, may end up causing a fire. Bottom line: if you want to make things easier on yourself this Thanksgiving, just use your oven at the times you need it, for the exact purpose you need it for.