Kitchen Fire Safety Do's and Don'ts

Kitchen Fire Safety Do's and Don’t's

For many, the kitchen is a space to be creative and cook meals that bring the family together, and yet for others, it’s a space in their home or apartment they barely use. For some, they are just learning how to cook and navigate the kitchen. Regardless of how experienced you may be in the kitchen, accidents happen. You can help reduce your risk of starting a fire by following these kitchen safety tips, as well as ensuring your home is well-equipped with the necessary fire safety equipment, like residential fire extinguishers.

1. Always Remain in the Kitchen When Cooking

Unattended cooking is the number one cause of home fires according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). If you are simmering, roasting, baking, or frying food on the stove or oven, it is important that an adult remains in the kitchen at all times to keep an eye on the food so it does not burn. You should also use a timer when cooking to help ensure you don't lose track of time. This is an especially important kitchen fire safety tip for beginner cooks.

2. Keep The Kitchen Free From Clutter

Remove items that do not belong in the kitchen to avoid any additional fire hazards. Also be mindful of kitchen materials that are flammable and can easily start fires such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, towels, curtains or even excess food packaging and keep them away from the stovetop. It is helpful to give everything a specific place in the kitchen to help reduce the risk of it being left out and catching fire to help ensure the kitchen remains a safe place.

3. Unplug or Turn Off Your Appliances

Unplug any countertop appliances when they are not in use, like toasters and coffee machines. This will help reduce the risk of a fire starting. As soon as you are finished cooking your food, turn off the appliance that you are using. You should also clean off leftover dust, food crumbs, and grease from your stovetop after use.

4. Install Reliable Protection

A vital kitchen fire safety tip is to install smoke alarms on every level of your home, as well as outside of each sleeping area and in every bedroom. Remember, smoke alarms should be installed at least 10 feet away from cooking appliances. If you are cooking something that involves a lot of smoke, you may be tempted to temporarily disable your house smoke alarms, however, this leaves your home and family unprotected from fires. Test your alarms monthly to ensure they are functioning properly and replace the batteries every six months.

Residential fire extinguishers should also be placed on each level of your home, as well as in the kitchen and garage. Keep your kitchen fire extinguisher or fire extinguishing spray close by so it is easily accessible in the event of a fire. Cooking accidents happen, so it is important to be prepared when you forget the pizza in the oven or burn the bacon on the stovetop. Follow these four kitchen fire safety tips to remain safe while protecting your home and family.