Unless we’re talking about a campfire or a fireplace, an open fire isn’t something most of us want to deal with. Fires in the home can happen unexpectedly and cause a significant amount of damage within minutes. Kitchen fires, however, can be some of the most devastating types of fire. Between grease and gas top stoves, they can lead to significant and damage that can spread quickly. And, let’s face it – many of us have walked away from a pot on the stove for a few seconds. These kitchen fire safety essentials will help you stay safe in the event of an unexpected fire.
Kitchen Fire Safety Essentials
The best way to avoid a kitchen fire is to prevent the situation from ever arising. While there’s no 100% guaranteed way to prevent fires, there’s still a lot you can do to prepare. Keeping these kitchen fire safety essentials on hand will help you keep your kitchen and your home safe.
Baking soda has hundreds of uses around the home from making the perfect chocolate chip cookies to deodorizing your fridge. Among other DIY home projects, baking soda can also be used to put out fires.
Keep a box of baking soda by your stove or cooking surface. That way, in the event of a grease fire, you can quickly extinguish the fire by pouring baking soda onto the flames.
An Oversize Lid or Sheet Pan
Fire needs two things to burn: fuel and oxygen. Chances are that a fire in your kitchen has found the fuel, but you can put it out by depriving it of oxygen. That’s why keeping an oversize lid or sheet pan handy can help put out a grease fire before it becomes a major problem.
A fire extinguisher is an invaluable part of any home cook’s safety arsenal. Make sure to get a fire extinguisher that is rated specifically for kitchen use or one that is rated for use around the home. Keep it near your stove in easy reach, and recharge it at your local fire station annually.
It’s easy to get caught up in social media, your favorite TV program, or the news and lose track of time. A timer is a great way to remind yourself that food is in the oven or on the stove.
Cleaning your stove and oven regularly helps prevent the buildup of grease that facilitates the start of grease fires. Regular cleaning also helps cut down on cleanup time by maintaining the cooking surface instead of the occasional hours-long deep clean.
Install a smoke alarm if you don’t already have one. While a smoke alarm won’t put out a fire, it’s an early alert system that is useful not just for fires, but for detecting carbon monoxide and gas that can lead to serious health hazards.
With these kitchen fire safety essentials, you’ll be prepared to respond in case a fire breaks out while you’re cooking.
Top Tips for Preventing Fires in Your Kitchen
There are many ways you can prevent fires in your kitchen. Here are our top tips.
- Check Your Appliances: Inspect your appliances for frayed cords, and don’t use appliances that have holes or worn spots in the cords.
- Children and Pets: Keep children and pets away from open flames, and don’t leave when you are cooking, even if only for a few minutes.
- Gas Stoves: If you have a gas stove, don’t use it if you smell gas. Open the windows in the kitchen, leave the premises, and call your local gas provider. Do not re-enter the home until the technician gives the all clear.
- Electrical Outlets: A lot of kitchens are designed with spare counter space centralized around a single outlet. While it’s tempting to plug everything into a power strip, overloading your electrical outlets is an electrical hazard. Split up the cords between multiple outlets. If you only have one outlet, then consider unplugging any appliances that are not currently in use when using appliances.
- Declutter: Move flammable objects away from open flames and hot surfaces before you start cooking. There’s nothing quite as unexpected as leaving a pot holder, plastic container, or plastic bag on the stove and turning on the wrong burner!