Prevent Kitchen Fires With Cooking Range Safety
By: Aaron Baer Harsha
Every year houses burn down because of kitchen fires. If you are well prepared and practice proper kitchen safety, however, you won’t ever find your house among them.
Invest In Fire Extinguishers
The most important action you can take to prevent kitchen fires can be done before even setting foot in a kitchen. Buy a fire extinguisher. No matter how safe you are, accidents happen, and it’s best to be prepared. Keep it in a cabinet near the stove where it is easily accessible to anyone, even your kids. Make sure every member of the house, even your husband who never cooks, knows its location so that they can respond quickly in the case of an emergency.
It may be a smart idea to have both a class A and B extinguisher. Class A is designed for everyday flammable materials, such as paper or wood, or a burnt roast, while Class B is designed for grease fires. If you attempt to put out a grease fire with water or most Class A extinguishers, you will only spread the flame, making it even more dangerous.
Controlling A Kitchen Fire
If you find you’re ever in the kitchen when a fire breaks out and you don’t have a fire extinguisher, do not panic. Quickly assess the situation. If the fire is large and spreading, alert everybody in the house and quickly evacuate. If the fire is small and contained, you have many options. If it’s a grease fire in a pan, simply cover it with the lid, and the flame will suffocate. If you do not have a lid easily accessible, smother it with salt, baking powder or any other similar ingredient you have readily available. For small non-grease fires, just douse with water. If the fire is in the oven, close the door, and turn off the heat. This will quickly and effectively put it out.
Watch Out For Appliances
Be cautious of how many appliances you have plugged in at once. Many kitchen appliances such as blenders, food processors and stand mixers use a great deal of energy. Plugging them into the same sockets and running them all at once could either blow a fuse or result in an electrical fire. Use proper judgment, and you should be fine.
Keep Your Kitchen Clean
Lastly, make sure your kitchen is clean. If you have random rags or paper towels hanging around your stove, you are asking for trouble. Puddles of grease or greasy residue that accumulates in your vent hood or any other nook and cranny it can find in your kitchen is also bad news. A properly cleaned kitchen is a far safer cooking environment than dirty one.
Many people take for granted the inherent danger of working with fire in the kitchen. As long as you are well prepared and keep your area clean, you should be fine, but always stay alert. Once a fire gets going, it moves quickly.