Kitchen Fire Safety
Kitchen fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. With the holiday season quickly approaching, kitchen safety is a priority to keeping yourself, your family, and your home safer from a fire.
Cooking Safety & Prevention Tips
- Always stay in the kitchen while cooking food on the stovetop. The most common cause of a kitchen fire is leaving cooking food unattended.
- When cooking turkey, ham, or any other food in the oven, stay in the home. Check on the cooking food frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove or hot foods. Some food can cause steam or splash, which can cause serious burns.
- Do not hold children while you are cooking. It can be distracting for the person cooking, which can lead to error and can cause yourself or the child to suffer from injury.
- Wear tight-fitting clothing while cooking to prevent clothing from igniting.
- Always keep the stovetop clear from combustibles. For example, do not set air fryers, mixing bowls, crock pots, paper towels, bowls, oven mitts, etc., on a stovetop that is being used or was recently used.
- Keep the floor clear to prevent slips or trips while cooking or carrying hot food.
- While cooking on the stovetop, keep a lid nearby in case of a grease fire.
It’s important always to be alert while cooking. Stay in the kitchen while cooking and set a timer as a reminder to check on the oven frequently. Always keep a fire extinguisher close to the kitchen and ensure you and your family has a fire escape plan.
What To Do If You Have A Cooking Fire
- If food catches fire in the oven or microwave, keep the door shut and shut it off. Lack of oxygen can suffocate the flames. If it continues to smoke, and you suspect the fire is not out, immediately call the fire department and remove yourself and anyone else in the home to safety.
- If a fire starts in a cooking pan, use an oven mitt to place the lid on, move the pan off the burner, and turn off the stove. Again, the lack of oxygen will stop the flames in a pot.
- Use your fire extinguisher if you can’t safely put the lid on a flaming pan or don’t have a lid for the pan. Do not aim at the flames, aim at the base of the fire and use sweeping motions to put out the fire.
- Never use water to put out a grease fire. Water repels grease and can spread the fire by splattering the grease. Instead, try one of these methods:
- If the fire is small, use an oven mitt to cover the pan with a lid and turn off the burner.
- Use baking soda or salt to throw onto the fire. Never use flour, which can explode or make the fire worse.
- Use a large wet cloth or towel to smother the fire.
- Use a fire extinguisher.
- Do not use towels, aprons, oven mitts, or other clothing to swat at the fire. It will likely fan the flames and cause the fire to spread.
If you attempt to use any methods to fight the fire, ensure everyone is safely removed, and you have a clear path out. Never fight a fire that is too large, or you’re ill-equipped to handle. The safest thing for you to do is to get out, close the door behind you, and call 911 or your local emergency services.
I’ve Had A Kitchen Fire, Now What?
If you experience a fire, there are safety concerns to be aware of before entering your home again. If the fire department is called, they will advise you on whether your home is safe to return or not. However, there are many things to be aware of when returning from soot and smoke damage, water damage, or the dust leftover from a fire extinguisher. It is important to have a professional, with experience in fire damage restoration, inspect, evaluate, and provide a cleaning plan to best suit your needs.
- Food- Food is unsafe to use after a kitchen fire. Soot spreads quickly. Therefore, food that is left in the open or open products is considered unsafe to digest. The heat from the fire can cause an expansion in even closed and packaged products, leaving the contents inside the container unsafe to digest.
- Plastic- Plastic, depending upon how severe the fire was and the proximity to the source of the fire, these items are considered unsafe for continuous use. Like with closed containers, the heat from the fire causes the plastic to expand, trapping soot when the item cools back down.
- Hygiene & Cleaning Products- Again, when heat expands, these products can leave a residue of soot trapped in the container, affecting the content inside.
- Charred Items- Typically, visibly charred items or items that have suffered severe smoke damage cannot be cleaned. When in doubt, consult a professional who can aid you in identifying the items that can be cleaned or are safe to use vs. the items that are not.
- Structure- The effects on the structure of your home are dependent upon the severity of the fire. However, certain materials can withstand permanent damage if not cleaned quickly and properly. This includes but is not limited to porcelain, marble, unfinished wood, metal, countertops, and tile.
How Trident Can Help
Kitchens are the heart of the home, which is why it’s important to take the necessary precautions while cooking. If you do experience a fire, a trusted Restoration Company, such as Trident Restoration, can help you with the effects that may follow.
Trident Restoration has a team of IICRC trained technicians, available 24/7 for those who require emergency services. In addition, our technicians can be on-site the same day for an emergency clean. We will perform an emergency clean up, help identify and remove items that are deemed unsafe, set air scrubbers and hydroxyls to clean the air, and answer any questions that you may have.
We understand the importance of returning your home and life to normal after experiencing such a disaster. Trident Restoration is a full-service Restoration Company. This means we can perform emergency services, full contents cleaning, and our team of Restoration Experts can help you return your home to its pre-loss condition. Our service area consists of locations in Northeast Ohio: Portage, Summit, Stark, Mahoning, Cuyahoga, Medina, Wayne, and Geauga counties. Call Trident Restoration at 330-409-8000