The Basics on Kitchen Safety

Are you a new homeowner worried about kitchen safety? Do you want to know more about how to ensure that your new investment, family, and future is safe from potential fire hazards? If so, then these top kitchen fire tips can give you the confidence and peace of mind you deserve.

Whether you own or rent, cooking is a daily chore. Many people give it no thought what so ever when they turn on their burner to make their favorite dish. But with any open flame/fire, there is a risk of catching fire. That’s why understanding the basics can help protect you and your home.

Top 5 Kitchen Fire Tips

While there are a ton of safety tips regarding kitchen fires, we wanted to start out with some of the basics. Things that most people may not even consider when chopping up their onions and preparing their beef stroganoff. There are basic precautions and steps everyone can take when enjoying their time in the kitchen and cooking up memories. Here are our top 5 tips for kitchen fire safety.

A Clean Kitchen is a Safe Kitchen

Most everyone can agree, cleaning your kitchen is the last item on your to-do list, however, keeping a sparkling clean kitchen is your first defense against a potential fire. Depending on your cooking style, grease, and grime buildup can cause a fire hazard on your stove top surfaces. By cleaning your kitchen area often, you are preventing the ability for rogue flames, and grease pops to spread to other surface areas, minimizing your risk of a fire.

Never Leave the Kitchen

While this next tip seems like a no-brainer, how many of us can honestly say we’ve never left our stove unattended, even if it was for a split second to run and grab the phone? One of the biggest risks of a kitchen fire is to not give 100% attention to your cooking.

This goes for anything being heated on a stove. Need a hot cup of tea, never leave the room until it’s whistled for enjoyment. Want to boil some eggs for your famous deviled egg recipe? Even boiling water can cause a risk if left unattended.

When you are planning to cook a meal or snack, be sure to commit to cooking. Always remain in the kitchen, pay attention to your heat levels, food reactions and protect yourself and your home from catching fire.

Cooking is not a Fashion Statement

Cooking that special dinner may require you to look your best, but keep in mind, cooking is not a fashion statement. In fact, your cute scarf, loose sleeves, or other articles may just be the catalyst your seared tuna needs to catch aflame. That’s why it is recommended to remove any loose clothing when cooking. You can always doll back up after dinner is complete, but having snug fitting clothes is essential to kitchen safety.

Another important factor when cooking is to secure your hair. Sure those hairnets look super sexy, but they not only serve to protect your food from getting a bit “hairy” but can also help protect you from catching fire. Have you ever seen hair catch on fire? It’s fast, violent and incredibly scary. So if you have beautiful long locks, better tie them up before cranking on the stove top.  Your beauty expert will thank you; we guarantee it.

Know your Flammables

Similar to your clothes catching fire, one should also understand that other items on your kitchen counter pose a risk. Always remove any excess items from your cooking area, including paper towels, pot holders, rags, and other loose articles. Also, knowing that your spice rack is ultimately a potential fire bomb is another reason to know your flammables.

Did you know that most spices, due to them being dried and very small, have a high combustion rate? Have you ever tried to pepper your food on the stove only to see your pepper go up in flames? That’s right; seasoning is a fire hazard. It is recommended to always season your food away from the open flame. Keep your spices off the stove when cooking and make sure they are always sealed.

Oils are another common question people ask about. Are oils flammable? The short answer is yes, they are. Different oils have different flash points or heat levels at which they ignite. To get a full list of the temperatures and oils that you commonly use, a little research is all that is needed.

Know your Fires

Electric – Electric stoves are great because they don’t produce an open flame. However, that doesn’t mean they are any safer when it comes to catching things on fire. In fact, it takes longer for an electric stove top to “cool down” once the burner is turned off than a traditional stove. For example, if you find yourself fighting a grease fire, only turning off an electric stove will not cool the oil as fast as turning off a traditional gas stove.

Gas – With a gas stove, an open flame is your biggest concern. Open fires are easier to ignite loose clothing and other items near the flame. While it does mean that you can turn the burner off and cool the surface area quicker, gas stove tops are potentially quicker to ignite a fire if interacting with an outside source.

Kitchen fire safety is all about being prepared, informed, and having an action plan in case of an emergency. Understanding the commitment required to cook responsibly is the first step Applying your knowledge to the situation is the second. Regardless if you cook every day or once in a blue moon, knowing how to protect yourself from a potential fire is key to living a happy, healthy and safe life in the kitchen. So next time you get ready to plan a big and beautiful meal, take a few minutes to check off your top 5 kitchen safety tips.

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