Kitchen fires are a serious threat to your home. When you're busy trying to get dinner on the table, simple mistakes and oversights can exponentially increase your risk of starting a blaze from your stovetop or oven. To make sure that you're protecting your family, use these five tips to help avoid fires in the kitchen.
1. Clear your cooking area
When you're cooking, clear the area before you turn on your stovetop or oven. Make sure there aren't any flammable objects like wrappers, wooden utensils or oven mitts near surfaces that will become warm during the cooking process.
2. Clean surfaces regularly
The Red Cross reported that regular cleaning is an important way to prevent kitchen fires. Grease can build up on your cooking appliances, increasing the risk while you're cooking. Cleaning the surfaces regularly will help prevent buildup from occurring.
3. Always use a timer
Regardless of your experience in the kitchen, it's important to always set a timer. Even the most well-seasoned cooks can get distracted and forget that the oven or a burner is turned on. When it comes to cooking, it's always better to be safe than sorry, so use a timer even if you think you'll remember to check your food when it's ready.
4. Be cautious with oil
Oil is an important ingredient for many recipes, but it can also be dangerous if not treated with care. When you have oil in a pan, watch it closely to make sure that it doesn't start to smoke and add food slowly to avoid splatters. The National Fire Protection Association recommended always having a lid nearby when cooking with oil. If a fire starts, simply turn off the burner and cover the pan with the lid. Let it cool for a long time before uncovering to avoid reigniting the flame. Do not throw water on an oil fire or attempt to use a fire extinguisher.
5. Be alert
When you cook, it's critically important to remain alert at all times. Pay attention to the food that you're cooking and don't leave the kitchen while your oven or stove is turned on. According to the National Fire Protection Association, unattended cooking was by far the most common cause of kitchen fires from 2007 to 2011. A fire can start in a matter of seconds, so even leaving the room for a few minutes can lead to a dangerous situation.
THE INFORMATION IN THESE ARTICLES IS INTENDED TO PROVIDE GUIDANCE ON THE PROPER MAINTENANCE AND CARE OF SYSTEMS AND APPLIANCES IN THE HOME. NOT ALL OF THE TOPICS MENTIONED ARE COVERED BY OUR HOME WARRANTY OR MAINTENANCE PLANS. PLEASE REVIEW YOUR HOME WARRANTY CONTRACT CAREFULLY TO UNDERSTAND YOUR COVERAGE.
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