Preventing Home Kitchen Fires
By News Desk K.M.K.
October 7, 2020

This year, National Fire Prevention Week is all about preventing a fire in the kitchen. Cooking is the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries, but you can help protect yourself, your family, and your home by following these tips when cooking.

Unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires, so let's try to change that. Whenever you're planning on cooking, make sure to stay with the food and take necessary precautions to prevent the possibility of fire. Avoid walking pets while the pasta boils or playing a quick game while your food is cooking in the oven.

Keep that cooking area clean! The best way to prevent a kitchen fire at home is to eliminate most of the ways a fire can start. Make sure there are no towels, paper products, or other flammable materials nearby when cooking. Loose clothing and hair can also catch fire if they are too close to a heat source.

Use a timer when cooking, don't guess if you don't have to. In a few minutes, your food can go from perfectly cooked to a crispy mess. Use a timer to eliminate second-guessing if your food has been cooking for five minutes or ten minutes. Timers are also a perfect way to remind yourself that something is in the oven while you finish making a sauce on the stove.

Keep a lid nearby while cooking. If a small grease fire starts, you can put a lid on your pot or pan to extinguish the flame. Fire needs oxygen to thrive; by putting a lid on it, you remove oxygen from the equation and smother the fire.

Don't mix alcohol and cooking. After a night out, order food to be delivered. Alcohol impairs reflexes and decision making, which are critical when a fire breaks out while cooking. Save yourself the trouble of having to prepare a meal and order from your favorite restaurant. It may just save your life and your home.

Keep a kid-free zone around hot things in the kitchen. Kids should stay at least three feet away from anything hot in the kitchen. This will help to prevent accidental burns and other kitchen-related accidents.

Turn handles in towards the stove. If you're using a pot or pan with a handle, make sure the handle points towards the stove. If someone accidentally hits the handle while walking away, it could cause burning or start a fire.

In addition to everything mentioned above, you should also have working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home. If you haven't checked them yet, check your smoke detectors to ensure they are working and replace the batteries. If the smoke detector is 10 years or older, it's time to replace it. Disposable fire extinguishers should be replaced every 12 years, if you have a rechargeable fire extinguisher, please check with the company it was purchased from to determine it's replacement and/or recharge schedule.