Your hungry family is home, and all the ingredients are on the kitchen countertop. All that’s left to do is cook the meal. But before you light the burner or preheat the oven, remind yourself that the kitchen is where most fires in the home start. Remember the following tips so your kitchen stays free of fire hazards.
Every kitchen should have the following safety essentials on hand:
- Fire Extinguisher: An ABC Dry Chemical fire extinguisher is the best option since it won’t accelerate grease fires. Read the instructions, and know how to operate it.
- Smoke Detector: A smoke detector with a pause button is best in case of false alarms. Neighboring rooms to the kitchen should also have smoke detectors.
- Oven Mitts: Protect those hands with a thick, durable pair.
Be a safe chef in your home by remembering these safety practices, and prevent a fire from ever starting:
- Don’t leave your cooking unattended. Checking your email or watching TV can wait until you’ve switched off the burner.
- Keep cooking area clean to prevent grease buildup.
- Have nothing flammable near the stove. Keep curtains, potholders, dishtowels, food pack-aging, and Mom’s recipe cards away from the stove.
- Roll up your sleeves, tuck in your shirt, and pin back long hair.
- Heat cooking oil slowly. Be patient with those French fries; heating oil too quickly can easily start a fire.
It may be unavoidable for kids to resist the pleasant smells wafting from the kitch-en. Kids often want to help cook, so bear in mind the following tips:
- Enforce a “kid-free zone.” Young children should be kept at least 3 feet away from the stove while older family members are cooking to avoid accidents and spills.
- Use the back burners, and turn pot handles toward the center of the range. This will keep hot items out of a child’s reach and reduce the risk of spills.
- Teach children that hot things can burn.
- Never hold a child while cooking.
If A Cooking Fire Starts:
- Water and grease don’t mix. In the event of a grease fire, NEVER POUR WATER ON IT. It will spread. Use a fire extinguisher, or when in doubt, get out and call for help.
- Put a lid on it. If a pan catches fire, slide a lid over the pan and turn off the stove burner. Leave the lid on until it is completely cool.
- Keep the oven or microwave door shut if fire starts. Turn off the heat. If the flames do not go out immediately, get out and call for help.
- Stop, drop, and roll. If your clothes catch fire, smother them on the kitchen floor before getting out of the house.
Respectfully submitted by Linda K. Tuttle, Housing Program Specialist
Source: State Farm Insurance