Successfully Avoiding Fire Hazards in the Kitchen | SERVPRO® of Pueblo
The kitchen can be a multifunctional place—a place for family and friends to gather, a place to spend quality time over a cup of coffee or tea and a place to gather for a meal after some delicious eats have been prepared. Unfortunately, without proper precautions, the kitchen can also be a dangerous place where many home fires can occur.
The No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries is cooking fires, and the leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.
State Farm paid out over $130 million in homeowners insurance claims related to grease and other cooking fires in 2017. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:
- North Carolina
- New York
Remaining in the kitchen while cooking is not the only fire safety tip you should be following. Here are some other helpful tips to observe while cooking:
1. Are you wearing clothes safe for cooking? 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; even grease splatters can ignite clothing material. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.
2. Are you careful about what you place by 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. Where is your 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. How are you disposing of your hot grease? 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. Do you have a fire escape plan established? Thinking about the worst-case scenario is never fun, but it’s better to be prepared rather than unprepared 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 Pueblo is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”