Kitchen Safety Precautions: What to Do in a Home Kitchen Fire
Kitchens are a common place for cooking fires to start, potentially leading to a house fire. When preparing food, you may be working with exposed flames or very high heat with your appliances, such as a toaster. For this reason, you should take preventive measures when cooking meals to prevent fires, as recommended by the National Fire Protection Association. Below are some kitchen fire safety tips that you can do to add to your safety in the kitchen, along with what to do after a small kitchen fire takes place.
How Do Kitchen Fires Start?
A kitchen fire typically starts when something flammable comes into contact with a source of heat. The most common causes of kitchen fires include: cooking oils, grease, and fats dripping onto hot surfaces; food left unattended while cooking; and spilled liquids.
How do Oil Fires Start?
When your cooking oil gets too hot, a grease fire can occur. Oils start to boil at high temperatures, then they’ll begin smoking, and finally they’ll catch on fire as it heats up more. Once the oil has started smoking, don’t be alarmed. Smoke is a warning sign that it’s getting close to catching fire.
How to Prevent Cooking Fires
Cooking is one of the biggest dangers with starting a small kitchen fire. The steps below will help you understand how can fires be avoided in the kitchen.
Never Leave your Cooking Food Unattended
Any unintentional negligence in the kitchen area can put you and your family’s safety at risk and incur significant costs. Unattended cooking is one of the leading causes of kitchen fires. Be sure to stay within a reasonable distance to your food’s heat source while cooking. Turn off the heat if you must be away from the oven, stove, microwave or other heated cooking appliance.
Protect Flammable Objects
Keep flammable objects away from the heat. Many of the basic items you use in the kitchen such as potholders, paper towels, plastic containers, curtains, or oven mitts can easily catch on fire if placed near a heated stove. These items must be stored in a safe location away from the stove and oven. Grease is another flammable substance that can accumulate quickly in the kitchen. You should keep the cooking area and counters clean to avoid grease build-up.
Install a Smoke Alarm
Installing a smoke alarm in your kitchen area ensures that when a fire does begin, it is caught early and is another preventative measure to make your home and family safe from kitchen fires. Install the alarm higher up on a wall or ceiling and be sure to push to test button to check that the alarm sound is effective.
What to do if Food in Oven Catches Fire
If food catches fire in the oven, turn off the heat immediately and allow the fire to burn out on its own. If it does not go out on its own, call 911 and leave your home. If the fire does go out, open your windows and carefully open the oven door to remove the hot pan.
How to Put out a Kitchen Fire
If you’re cooking and notice a fire has started in your pan, make sure to slide the lid over it so that oxygen can’t get into the flames. Turn off the burner as soon as possible and don’t touch anything until everything has completely cooled down. If there’s grease on top of an oil-based flame, be mindful about using water – this can cause hot liquid to splash out onto other areas which increases risk for spreading fires!
It is important to keep a fire extinguisher within reach. A large number of kitchen fires involve grease, gasoline, and oil, meaning that water will only worsen the fire. A fire extinguisher can help you suppress the flames easily. Remember to keep it away from the stove, but also to have it easily accessible from your range.
Assessing Kitchen Fire Damage
In the event of a disaster, it’s important to remember that you need to do three things.
1. Take Pictures
Take pictures and keep lists of everything impacted by damage so your insurance company can file for any claims they deem necessary.
2. Call Your Insurance Immediately
Call them right away and explain what happened; this will start the process moving as quickly as possible on their end too!
3. Wait to Clean Up
Your agent may want an investigation before deciding whether or not you’re covered in case there are holes left unfilled – avoid cleaning up any kitchen fire damage until advised otherwise because these could jeopardize your claim if something gets missed out during assessment.
How to Recover From a Home Kitchen Fire
A kitchen fire can be a big problem. If it is put out quickly, there’s a chance the kitchen will survive and even look clean again after some scrubbing! The most important thing to do is to make sure all of the soot and smoke particles have been cleaned up as well. Otherwise you’ll have a terrible smell of smoke odor in your house.
A few tips and steps on how to recover from a home kitchen fire include:
Always wear protective gear when cleaning after a fire
Keep windows open to help smoke escape and ventilate the area
Throw out contaminated food items, including any cardboard food items
Remove kitchen cabinets and drawers and clean the interior space
Wipe down steel and metallic surfaces
Change your air filters
Cleaning Dishes After a Fire
With most kitchen dishes and utensils, you can wash with dish detergent and rinse twice, once with bleach (where bleach is safe) and once with clean water and soap. The bleach sanitizes the dishes and can remove the stains.
When cleaning pots and pans after a fire, you can use liquid dish soap and water, and polish them afterward if needed.
Is a Stove Safe to Use After a Fire?
After a kitchen stove fire, once the fire has been put out with an fire extinguisher, the appliance must be thoroughly cleaned to ensure it is safe. Clean the Exterior of the stove After a Fire To make sure the appliance is completely free from debris and grime, clean all parts including the front glass door and window. You may even need to apply a solvent to remove any leftover soot. Keep an eye out for holes or cracks in your stove’s outer casing and replace if needed.
Once this and other requirements have passed inspection, chances are you actually can use the stove after a grease fire. You just have to make sure it is free of all soot and grime first before firing up any food items
Is Oven Safe to Use After a Fire?
Although most believe you should replace all appliances after a fire, it may not always be necessary. If you clean the oven thoroughly and it’s functioning properly, it is most likely safe to use again after a fire. If you want to be extra careful, you should also check for cracks in the walls and ceiling of the oven. These are common places where heat can build up and cause more damage than just the surface.
Is gas oven safe to use after fire?
After a fire in your gas oven, it is safe to use, as long as it has been thoroughly cleaned and inspected for structural issues. To inspect the gas oven, make sure the structural integrity of the outer shell has no holes or damages. Check connector of the gas line, make sure it is fully intact. Lastly, inspect for faulty components. If any of these areas are not clearly in tact and fully functioning, it’s best to have a professional take a look at it.
How to Clean Your Oven After a Fire
If you have a gas oven, turn off the pilot light first, then open the door and remove the burner cover. Turn off the gas valve at the wall. To clean your oven after a fire, use baking soda and water to scrub away the burnt residue. Follow up with vinegar for an extra tough cleaning job! Finally, dry off the outside of the oven and you are good to go.
When a fire takes place in your kitchen, it’s important to be prepared for the aftermath. The Jenkins Restorations team is available 24/7 with an arsenal of powerful tools and processes that will restore your home back to normal as soon as possible so all you’ll have left are memories instead of regretful thoughts about what could’ve been.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to use dishes after a house fire?
Yes, it is safe to use dishes after the fire. However, you should be careful when cleaning them because they may contain toxic chemicals. If you want to clean them, you can use dish soap and water.
Do I need fire rated downlights in kitchen?
Yes, you should install fire rated downlights in your kitchen. Fire rated downlights are designed to prevent fires from spreading through the ceiling. They also provide additional safety for children who may be playing around the kitchen.
Where to store fire extinguisher in kitchen
Fire extinguishers should be stored in a safe place away from children and pets. The best location for storing fire extinguishers is in a closet or cabinet. If you do not have a closet or cabinet, then you can use a shelf or other storage unit.
How to put out an oil fire on the stove
To put out an oil fire on the stove, first cover the flames with a metal lid and turn off the heat source. Leave the metal lid on until the stove has cooled. If the fire is small and manageable, pour baking soda or salt on it to smother the fire. DO NOT try to extinguish the fire with water or attempt to move the pot or pan outside.
How to put out a grease fire on stove
If you want to put out a grease flame on the stove, first turn off the burner. To prevent oxygen from entering the flame, cover it with another pot or a pan. If you can‘t extinguish the fire, smother it with a generous amount of salt or baking soda until it’s out. If the fire is too big for smother, baking soda, or salt, use a fire extinguisher or call 911.
Can grease in oven catch fire?
Grease in the oven can cause a fire when you are cooking something that’s very greasy and fat. It can splatter and cause a flame, or if you are baking, the batter could overflow and start a small fire. It’s important to keep your stovetop clean and dry, and to keep an eye on your food while you’re cooking to prevent a grease fire.
Should we replace appliances after fire?
You can often clean away the dust and dirt from your appliances, but if smoke or soot entered through any openings, then the exposure could damage the inside components. If you’re not sure whether you can still use fire damaged appliances, you likely will need to get an expert to help you decide.
How long can an oven stay on before catching fire?
If you have nothing in the oven, you can generally leave it on for about 12 hours safely if the temperature is low, the door is closed, and nothing flammable is near or inside of the oven. It is also important to make sure that your oven is reliable in this situation. If your oven catches fire within only a few hours of running it, you have a faulty oven issue.
Have You Recently Dealt With A Kitchen Fire In Your Home?
After a kitchen fire, make sure to call Jenkins Restorations to get your home – and your life – back to normal again.
Jenkins Restorations specializes in the reconstruction and repair of property damaged by wind, water, fire, storms, vandalism or burglary. We offer 24/7 Emergency Services to get you quickly and professionally restored!