Kitchen Fire Safety Tips
Cooking is an everyday activity where many families find pleasure, but did you know that most household fire damage is caused from cooking related activities? We cannot simply avoid cooking in order to reduce the risk of a kitchen fire, but there are steps that that can be taken to cook safely while protecting your family and your home from a kitchen fire damage.
Before You Start Cooking
Before you start cooking, make sure that your cooking surface is free from any flammable kitchen materials, including paper towels, cardboard packaging, plastic packaging, oven mitts or wooden objects. Taking a moment to wipe down all cooking surfaces and materials prior to cooking will help to significantly decrease the chances of a dangerous kitchen fire igniting while cooking. Grease, oil, and food debris can accumulate on stove tops and inside ovens after cooking, which increases the risk of a kitchen fire engulfing - so before cooking, it is beneficial to clean those areas. Finally, like ovens and stoves, pots and pans can become adorned in oil and grease from previous cooking excursions, which can cause kitchen fires if not cleaned properly before use.
While You Are Cooking
While you are cooking, be sure that you remain in the kitchen and pay attention to what is going on - especially if you have a gas range. Leaving cooking appliances unattended increases the risk of a fire igniting that could quickly become out of control, leading to fire and smoke damage to other parts of the home. If you must leave the kitchen for a short period of time, make sure to turn off the stove. However, there are some instances such as roasting a dish or baking for extended periods of time. Use a timer in order to remember to regularly check on the food.
What to do After a Kitchen Fire
Even when preventative measures are taken, there is still a risk that a kitchen fire could ignite while you are cooking. In order to protect yourself, make sure that your home is equipped with smoke alarms and carbon monoxide or natural gas detectors if you have gas appliances. Also make sure that an accessible fire extinguisher is stored in your kitchen at all times - and remember where you put it! If the fire is small and manageable, extinguishing the fire yourself may be an option. However, if the fire or smoke becomes large and dangerous, exit the house safely and quickly and immediately call 911. The fire department will hopefully limit the damage caused by the kitchen fire damage and smoke damage to your home. However, please bear in mind that oftentimes the fire department will use a lot of water during their firefighting efforts, which can result in significant water damage to your home in combination with the fire and smoke damage, which can lead to strong odours.
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