Watching for Fire Hazards in the Kitchen | SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South
Kitchens these days are made to be a wonderfully versatile place—a place for family and friends to gather, for spending quality time and where meals are prepared and shared. However, without proper precautions, the kitchen can be a place where many home fires break out.
The No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries is cooking fires and the leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.
In 2017, over $130 million in homeowners insurance claims were paid out by State Farm. These claims were related to grease and other cooking fires. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:
- North Carolina
- New York
Cooking should not be left unattended, but this is not the only fire safety tip you should be following. Here are some other helpful tips to observe while cooking:
1. Don’t wear clothing that could easily catch fire. Does your outfit have long, flowing sleeves or is it big and baggy? It could catch on fire if you aren’t careful while cooking over the stove. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.
2. Don’t place flammable objects on or near the stovetop. Make sure you don’t have kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking. Ideally, anything flammable will be moved away from it.
3. Don’t leave your home unequipped with a fire extinguisher. Hopefully you have at least one fire extinguisher located in your home, ideally one that is near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.
4. Don’t throw hot grease in the garbage can. The grease may not be on fire, but it could be hot enough to cause something in the trash to burn. You should let the grease cool a bit and then dispose of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the smoke points of the oils you cook with. Be sure to never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.
5. Don’t forget to prepare a fire escape plan. Being prepared for the worst thing that could happen is better than being caught by surprise and not being prepared if an emergency were to occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.
Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO® of Van Nuys South is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”