Keeping Your Home Safe: 10 Tips for Preventing Kitchen Fires
Imagine completing your kitchen remodeling project, and then losing it all to a fire. What a nightmare! Experiencing a house fire is a traumatic event that impacts hundreds of thousands of residential homes in the United States each year. Kitchen fires make up a large portion of total house fires, and cooking fires are responsible for the majority of injuries that people receive from a fire in their home. Fortunately, the rate of fires in the country has been on a steady decline since the early 2000s, thanks to education and awareness efforts. No homeowner wants to see their beautiful kitchen space in shambles after a disaster, and most are more than willing to form good habits that will help to prevent fires in the future. The majority of the time, it’s possible to stop a kitchen fire from happening well before it even starts.
At Kitchen Solvers we care about you, our client, and would like to help you enjoy your newly remodeled space for many years to come without having to experience a fire. Here are some great tips and steps that you can follow to keep your home safe by preventing a fire in the kitchen.
Never Leave Cooking Food Unattended
This happens far too often, and you might not always notice that you are doing it. There are many reasons why a person leaves cooking food unattended; a child is crying, someone rings the doorbell, you need to run to the restroom, the dog is shredding a newspaper on the living room carpet. It is important to know that there is never a good reason to leave food cooking in your kitchen, perhaps occasionally excluding the oven and other closed cooking mechanisms. If you must leave the kitchen, turn off the heat momentarily. It might take a little longer for dinner to be ready, but you could easily prevent a kitchen fire.
Slow Cooking Might Not Mean Safe Cooking
Cooking in a slow cooker, or on low heat in the oven, is a great way to make a delicious meal. Many people prep their food, throw it together in a crockpot and make the dangerous mistake of leaving the house. Have you ever left your home while your food cooked in the cooker? While it might not seem like an easy way for a fire to start, accidents or malfunctions can happen while you are away that could lead to a fire. In the future, turn the appliance off or stay home while your food cooks to prevent fires.
Use a Cooking Timer as a Reminder
If you have a dish that needs a longer amount of time to cook, or even just 15 minutes, set a cooking timer to remind you that your oven is on. All too often, homeowners place a freshly-made batch of cookies, a whole chicken or many other meals in the oven, walk away and totally forget that they are cooking. This will lead to inedible food and, potentially, a kitchen fire.
Did you know that your clothing could be the very thing that leads to a fire in your newly remodeled kitchen? When highly flammable materials, loose clothing or long sleeves come into direct contact with heat, they could easily ignite. Obviously, this is very dangerous. Always be sure to dress appropriately when cooking.
Kid-Free Cooking Zone
Kids love to help in the kitchen, and all children should learn how to cook a good meal. However, a hot stove or oven is not the safest area for your child to be in. Be sure to clearly designate a kid-free zone, and never leave your child alone in the kitchen, especially around a hot surface.
Keep Flammable Materials Away
Another common way that fires are started in the kitchen is the accidental ignition of an oven mitt, wash cloth, paper towel or other flammable object. It’s easy to accidentally lay down an item on a stove burner, unaware that it is hot. The lucky ones are alerted by the smell of melting materials or a fire alarm, but others may lose their entire kitchen to this very preventable mistake. Get into the habit of keeping flammable materials away from hot surfaces, even when they are really off.
Clean Greasy Surfaces
Grease fires in the kitchen happen often, and they are very hard to put out once they have started. Some grease fires spark during cooking, but most can be prevented by cleaning surfaces that are prone to grease buildup. Check inside the bottom of your oven and around your stove eyes for this buildup.
Get a Fire Extinguisher
As previously noted, some kitchen fires can be very hard to extinguish. A fire extinguisher can make the difference between a little fire damage, and the loss of an entire home. All homeowners should purchase a fire extinguisher to keep inside the kitchen. Also, check with your local fire department or emergency management agency about training so that you can learn the proper way to use it.
No Such Thing as “Too Careful”
Before you go to bed at night or leave your home during the day, walk inside your kitchen and make sure that everything has been turned off, including your smaller appliances. You can never be too careful when it comes to preventing fires in your newly-remodeled kitchen.
Buy and Test Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are one of the most important investments that you can make for your home. Place alarms on each level of your house (at the very least), taking care to put one near the kitchen. Test your alarms once a month by using the “test” button, and replace the batteries as needed or at least on a yearly basis.
Learn More about Kitchen Remodeling
Would you like to learn more about our services, including kitchen remodeling? We would be happy to assist you with all of your kitchen remodeling needs. You can learn more about what makes Kitchen Solvers the choice service for remodeling by visiting our services page or contacting a representative with our company today.