Kitchens are a common place for cooking fires to start. When preparing food, you may be working with exposed flames or very high heat with your appliances. 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 to Prevent Cooking Fires
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.
How to Put out a Kitchen Fire
Keep a fire extinguisher within easy reach
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 the 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 anything until advised otherwise because these could jeopardize your claim if something gets missed out during assessment.
Cleaning the Aftermath
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 to help with cleaning after a 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
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.