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Preventing Kitchen Fires – The Do’s and Don’ts

Home life often centers on the kitchen. It’s a place where families can cook up culinary delights and bond over the dinner table. However, the kitchen can also be a place of danger if one does not take the proper precautions. According to a 2010 study by the National Fire Protection Association, cooking equipment is the number one cause of home fires, civilian fire injuries, and unreported fires. From 2003-2007, forty-one percent of home fires began in the kitchen. Though the statistics are sobering, there are several ways to prevent kitchen fires and keep your family safe. Here are a few do’s and don’ts of fire safety when you are operating kitchen equipment:

Don’ts

• Do not leave the kitchen while cooking, especially when you are grilling, broiling, boiling, or frying food. If you absolutely must leave the kitchen, even momentarily, turn off the stove first.
• Do not wear loose clothing (especially clothing with loose sleeves) while you are cooking. Clothing such as bathrobes and large aprons can more easily catch on fire while you are cooking.
• Do not leave cooking materials that can easily catch fire on the stovetop; including oven mitts, potholders, towels, and wooden utensils.
• Do not allow small children too close to the cooking area. Keep them three feet away from the stove at all times and use the back burners when possible.
• Do not overload your kitchen circuits with appliances. Don’t plug numerous heat-producing appliances – such as waffle irons, toasters, and electric skillets – into the same outlets.
• Do not disable your smoke alarm while cooking, even if your dish produces a lot of smoke. Wave a towel near the alarm until the smoke dissipates. If your smoke alarm is newer, it may have a hush button.fire damage worcester

Do’s

• Install and maintain smoke alarms.
• Promptly clean food and grease off the stovetop and burners. Also regularly clean other kitchen appliances to ensure they are free from food particles and grease.
• Frequently check on your food when you are baking, simmering, or roasting. Set a timer and stay at home until your food has finished cooking.
• While using disposable aluminum pans, double the pans or place a single pan on a cooking sheet. This will help prevent grease and sauce spills since aluminum pans are often flimsy and break easily.
• Ensure your lids fit your pots and pans, particularly if you are cooking with grease and hot liquids.
• Check that your pots’ and pans’ handles are not damaged or loose.
• Turn pot and pan handles toward the back of the stove.
• If a pan does catch fire, cover the pan with a well-fitted lid or a larger pot. Use potholders to protect your hands during this process. Turn off the exhaust fan and burners.
• In the case of a microwave fire, keep the microwave door closed. Turn off the power or unplug the appliance. Do not use the appliance again unless it has been serviced.

If a fire breaks out and damages your home despite your best prevention efforts, call the professionals at MA Restoration for 24/7 fire damage restoration services.