The Importance of Regular Stove Inspections
Stove fire prevention comes in many forms including getting your stove inspected regularly. Sure, knowing the best practices of how to prevent a fire, combat a flame, and other precautionary methods are great ways to be prepared, the first step is to make sure your equipment is in working order.
Everyone knows that it’s almost mandatory to get your home inspected when buying, but what about on-going maintenance and inspection? The easiest way to keep your kitchen safe and to work like a charm is to hire a certified home inspector to come out, but that’s not the only way you can keep an eye on your home appliances.
Option 1: Professional Inspector
Stove inspections include several factors to ensure your home is up to par on regulation. A professional home inspector will thoroughly inspect all aspects of your stove including your exhaust system, kitchen hood fire extinguisher, electrical switches, gas connections and other key elements to provide a safe cooking environment. The benefit of hiring a professional inspector is that they will provide detailed notes, comments, and recommendations for any areas that need immediate attention. This removes the guesswork on how to move forward with finding a potential problem. Also, most professional inspectors will also be able to provide you with credible repair service options giving you confidence in the process of replacing or fixing your appliance.
Option 2: DIY Inspections
If you have recently had a professional inspection and want to keep your home up to date yourself, then there are some basic guidelines to follow when doing it yourself. There are plenty of resources offering checklist type steps to DIY, including checking all burners, inspecting the oven/broiler, making sure your temperature regulator kicks on and off if using an electric stove, etc.
Obviously one of the biggest benefits of doing your inspection is the savings of not having to hire a professional. However, many find that if a problem does arise, they are unsure how to correct the issue, resulting in a service call. However, if you are looking to get started protecting your home and doing a self-inspection here are a few things to consider:
Tasks you should perform before you operate the appliance:
- Check inside the oven and all burners to ensure there is no damage or risk of operating the device. Remove all pans and other items inside the oven or on the stovetop. Check to make sure all loose articles are removed from the surface area, including paper towels, pot holders, rags and other items that may catch fire during the test.
- Inspecting the oven and burners to make sure they appear safe before operating is also important. Check to see if there is excessive food spillage, grime, or grease buildup that could compromise the inspection or worse cause a fire.
- Check for and replace as necessary any damaged or missing knobs.
- Make sure the wall oven and cooktop are securely attached to the wall or cabinet.
- Inspect your oven door to make sure it moves freely. The door should move without hitting nearby objects, scrap, or bind when operating. If the door does not move freely, then one might need to replace the door or repair the setting of the hinges. A proper door also ensures that your oven heats correctly and safely.
- Always check the condition of your electrical and gas connections. If you are unsure about the integrity of your electrical or gas line, do not connect the appliance to the supply. Call a professional to come and help repair your lines before continuing your test.
- If your stove-top or oven does not pass any of the following requirements, avoid testing the appliance. Instead call a professional to come out and assess the damage and risk before any future use of the stove.
Other Tips for Home Regular Stove Inspection
Stove inspections don’t have to be a long and drawn out process. There are some other essential steps one can take to prevent stove fires and ensure your kitchen is in good working condition. One of the easiest ways to keep your oven working properly is to clean it on a regular basis. We don’t mean doing an extreme self-oven clean from time to time; we’re talking about daily scrubbing of the surface areas, burner sections and general stove-top to remove excess buildup of grease and food grime.
In addition to a good scrubbing, it is recommended that one always has “space awareness” when it comes to your kitchen stove. Removing items that can catch fire, such as potholders, paper towels, and rags are mandatory. Preventing an accidental fire due to spices being too close to your stove is another precaution one can take to protect their home from a stove fire.
The third suggestion is more situational and is best recommended during holidays. Most families do the majority of their cooking during the holidays, so it’s always best practice that before the big day, inspect your kitchen stove top and oven to make sure everything is in good working order before loading up with your recipes. This will not only make sure your holiday meals are one to remember, but will also make sure you are protecting your home from a potential fire hazard.
Stoves are a modern convenience that most of us take for granted. And while it’s true, most of the time each meal goes off without a hitch, there is always a risk when working with heat or fire. Of course, this risk is easily mitigated and prevented if you know what to look for and do a regular inspection. So next time you get ready to dice up your world famous dish, take a few minutes to do a quick walk-through of your kitchen space. By taking a few moments to inspect your kitchen area could save you and your family a serious headache, later on, not to mention a major hit to your pocket book.