Preventing Kitchen Fires

by Rachel Laurendeau on October 11, 2013

kitchen remodeler INOctober 6-12 is National Fire Prevention Week, and this year’s slogan is “Prevent Kitchen Fires”. In the spirit of this very important week, we thought we would dedicate today’s blog to the subject of preventing kitchen fires.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, cooking equipment fires are the leading cause for home fires and associated injuries. The USFA’s article “Cooking Fire Safety” gives an excellent overview of safe cooking behaviors including how to choose the right equipment and use it properly. If you are undergoing a kitchen remodeling project, you might find their article helpful when selecting the right appliances and equipment for your kitchen.

Keeping in mind that the main cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking, here are some of the many kitchen safety tips found in the USFA’s article:
• “Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
• “If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
• “Stay alert! To prevent cooking fires, you have to be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.
• “Keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains – away from your stovetop.
• “Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean.
• “Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.
• “To prevent spills due to overturn of appliances containing hot food or liquids, use the back burner when possible and/or turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge. All appliance cords need to be kept coiled and away from counter edges.”

In addition to following safe cooking procedures, your bi-annual fire safety home improvements should include testing your home’s smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers.

References: www.usfa.fema.gov and  NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week website, www.firepreventionweek.org. ©2013 NFPA

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