Top 10 Tips for Stove Fire Prevention
Stove fire prevention is one of the leading factors to protecting your home and family. If you love to cook, or just cook once in a blue moon, knowing the best practices to keep your kitchen in tip top shape while staying safe is worth every minute you spend in preparation.
Home fires often begin as a kitchen fire, without proper planning and education on how to prevent and deal with a potential fire, a flame on the stove-top can quickly spread to other areas of the kitchen, igniting your home and causing thousands of dollars worth of damage.
If you are ready to invest in your preventative training, then following these top 10 best practices can save you from the potential headache of a stove top fire.
Tips for Stove Fire Prevention:
Clean Kitchen Area
Believe it or not, the first tip for a fire proof kitchen is to keep your kitchen area clean. That’s right, cooking on a regular basis causes grim, grease and food debris to build up on your stove surfaces, causing a potential for fire.
It is recommended that you clean your kitchen areas on a regular basis to avoid this danger, but also that you thoroughly clean your stove and oven before any “big cooking” days, such as holidays, parties or other events. This will help to prevent your favorite dish from going up in flames and crashing your party.
Just like a regular cleaning, inspecting your appliances on a regular basis is also recommended. While most of us take our appliances for granted, they are machines. And as such, things wear down, go out, and break down, therefore having an inspection plan is highly recommended.
There are two basic options when it comes to a stove inspection:
Professional Inspection – A professional inspection offers peace of mind by hiring a skilled inspector to check all the necessary wires, connections, and general working order of your stove and oven. Most investigators will also provide a detailed account of their findings, along with recommendations on how to correct or fix the problem. The downside is that you will obviously have to pay out of pocket for an expert to come out and inspect your kitchen appliances.
DIY Inspection – The second option is to do an inspection yourself. By finding a credible source that offers a DIY checklist, this option can not only save you time but money. The downside is that if you do find a potential problem, you may not know what steps are needed to fix the issue. Also, without a certified expert evaluating your appliances, you do run the risk of missing a potential danger.
Kitchen Space Rules
Establish basic kitchen rules in your household. This includes forbidding children to play in the kitchen while cooking. Pets and children are extremely vulnerable to being burned while in the kitchen. In addition to creating a “safe space” to cook in, it is recommended that you do not allow small children to operate the stove or oven, even while in your presence. This will ensure that they do not “play” with the appliance while you are away from the kitchen, preventing a potential disaster.
Just like creating kitchen space rules, you must commit to your cooking. That means never leave a stove-top or oven unattended, even if you have to exit the room for just a moment. Instead, turn off the stove, or oven before leaving the area to prevent a fire outbreak. This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but reports indicate the majority of kitchen fires are started while the cook is away from the kitchen.
Cooking Attire Tips
Ever wonder why cooks wear an apron? Well sure it keeps your favorite shirt clean, but it also acts as a safety precaution. It is recommended that before cooking, one should remove any loose articles that may catch fire. This includes scarves, long sleeve shirts and other items that do not fit firmly against your skin.
Know Your Oils
Grease fires are a common threat to any kitchen, and if you have ever had a pan of grease pop and growl, then you know that oil is no joke. But did you know that different oils have different “flash points” or points at which they will begin to smoke, and catch fire? If you cook with various oils, then knowing your oil threshold can save you from a grease fire. Here is a checklist of different oil flash points.
Gas VS Electric Tips
Having a basic understanding of your oven type is another best practice. For example, if you use a gas stove, then simply turning off the burner can quickly reduce the heat on your stove, helping to combat a potential fire. However, an electric stove-top has a much longer “cooldown” rate and may not give you the same results when trying to manage your heat.
Also, if you are cooking with a gas stove and are unable to quickly contain a fire, the next step is to get out of your home! Gas stoves run the risk of explosion, making a kitchen fire extremely dangerous. An electric stove does not pose a risk of explosion, however, if you are unable to control the flame, it can still cause the rest of your kitchen to catch on fire, so be safe and get to a safe distance.
Bedtime Double Take
Have you ever left the house and wondered if you forgot to turn off the coffee pot? What about when you go to bed, do you go and check your kitchen appliances to make sure everything is turned off and ready for bed? If not, then this tip could save you from a serious disaster, especially if you are a night owl and love to cook in the wee hours of the evening. A simple walk-through is all it takes, but the time spent will guarantee your kitchen is safe for the evening.
Install Smoke Alarms/Maintenance
Smoke alarms save lives and if you do not have one in your kitchen then get one! It’s also important that you check your alarms often, replace your batteries and needed and ensured they are always in working order.
Fire Stopper Tools
If you want to go a step further, then opting in for a fire stopper is a great way to help you combat a fire. Not only can you buy a fire extinguisher, but many companies offer a hood mounted device that can eliminate a fire quickly and easily.