Kitchen fires are not only deadly, but they are also terribly common. Cleaning supplies can create toxic smoke, grease and other fuel sources help the flames spread, and since many homes have a backdoor in the kitchen area, fast fires can cut off vital escape routes. Here are a few quick fire safety tips to keep your kitchen safe.
Keep Smothering Tools Near the Stove
The best way to kill a kitchen fire is to smother it. Often, small fires break out in pans and skillets when food becomes overheated or a spark from the burner ignites the oil. Keeping a large lid within easy reach helps you snuff out fires almost as quickly as they begin. A fire without oxygen soon becomes no fire at all.
Keep an Extinguisher on Hand
This tip probably doesn’t surprise you. After all, we all learned basic fire extinguisher techniques from safety videos as children, right? Fire extinguishers are not a one size fits all product, though, and using the wrong fire extinguisher in a greasy kitchen fire can actually make the fire worse. When you’re shopping for an extinguisher, look for one that is rated to handle both A and B classifications. Class A extinguishers can handle regular combustibles like paper, wood, or cloth. Class B extinguishers can handle liquid-fueled fires, which is important in a kitchen where you cook with oil and greasy food. It’s alright if your extinguisher also fights class C fires, which are electrical. This will help protect you if you accidentally spray an operating appliance while trying to put out a fire. Five pound extinguishers are best for the kitchen, and an extinguisher with a hose will help you aim the spray. Remember to be careful of smoke, and keep the extinguisher near a door so you’re positioned to escape in case the fire outpaces your efforts.
Keep Flammables Away from Heating Elements
The first step in fire safety is to prevent as many fires as possible. We’ve all seen the pretty towels fashionable households like to hang over their oven handles. This may look charming, but it’s a bad idea. Bringing extreme heat sources and highly flammable products close to each other is never wise. It’s better to drill a towel rack onto the cupboard under the sink. Flammable liquids should also be kept away from the stove and oven. Do not store vegetable oils above the stove. Taking a few extra steps to get to the olive oil is a small sacrifice that could well spare you from a house fire. You’ll never have to worry about fire damage restoration if fires never break out in the first place.
Remember to get out when in doubt. If the fire is too large for your extinguisher, or the fire has spread to other areas, leave the house and call emergency services. If you have any doubts, whatsoever, get out of the building. Fire damage restoration services can always bring your home back to its former glory if the fire grows, but you can’t replace a life.