These Kitchen Fire Safety Tips to can keep Dinner - and your home - from going up in flames
Cooking is the leading cause of reported home fires and related injuries, responsible for 44% of home fires according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). It’s also the the second-leading cause of home fire deaths.
The scariest part of these statistics: cooking fires are highly preventable! Below are easy tips and reminders to help keep your home and family safer.
#1. Keep Your Eyes on the Stove to Prevent Kitchen fires
NFPA says unattended cooking is the primary cause of cooking-related fires. To reduce this risk:
- Stay in the kitchen while food is cooking, especially when frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling.
- Turn the stove or oven off if you must leave the kitchen, even for a short time.
- Use timers to remind yourself to check on food regularly, especially items baking in the oven, and to prevent food from overcooking.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, and learn how to use it. Your local fire department and these tips from NFPA can teach you how to operate a portable fire extinguisher, which can help save lives and keep damage to a minimum.
#2. A Clean Work Area Helps Prevent Kitchen Fires
Your cooking area should be free from any flammable materials. Keep oven mitts, hand or paper towels, wooden utensils, and food packaging away from the stovetop, toaster, and other cooking surfaces. Turn pan handles in (toward the back of the stovetop) to prevent anyone from knocking over a pan, causing scalds or burns, or from spilling flammable contents like hot oil onto the stovetop.
Staying tidy keeps home chefs safe too! Pull back long hair so you can see what you’re doing (and to keep hair out of your food – yuck!).
The New York Fire Department recommends home cooks keep long or loose sleeves rolled up and out of the way. Not only are loose sleeves more likely to catch fire, they can also get caught on pot handles, creating a scalding hazard.
#3 Supervise Kids for Better Kitchen Fire Safety
Teaching kids to cook is a great family activity, but safety should be the top priority. When it comes to hot surfaces, NFPA recommends keeping a kid-free zone of 3 feet around areas where hot food and drink are being prepared, unless and until kids are taught proper oven and stovetop safety, or while supervised. Get the NFPA’s Cooking Safety Tip Sheet here.
Take Thanksgiving Fire Safety Seriously
Thanksgiving has three times more cooking fires than any other day. NFPA says it’s the leading day for home fires involving cooking equipment. With this in mind, use the tips throughout this article to lower your risk of kitchen fires.
Additionally, remember that too many cooks in the kitchen (literally) can cause confusion and accidents. Try to spread out cooking activities to keep the kitchen from getting too busy. Don’t cook food at temperatures higher than the recipe calls for, and use plenty of timers to stay alert during cooking.
Design a kitchen with room to work safely
Whether you’re making a weeknight meal or a Thanksgiving feast, Improveit wants you to enjoy every minute in your kitchen safely. If your cooking area is cramped, unsafe, or just unenjoyable, give us a call!
Our kitchen remodeling services range from cabinet refacing and countertop replacement to adding that island you’ve always wanted. Let’s give you the space, storage, and style you’ve been craving! Schedule an appointment to learn more.