Top Common Causes of Kitchen Fires and How to Prevent Them
Flammable materials near elements and open flames
Flammable items such as food packaging, kitchen towels, cleaning rags, wooden utensils, fabric oven mitts, cookbooks and recipe cards should never be placed close to the stovetop.
Frying with oil
Frying food is a leading cause of kitchen fires, and grease/oil fires are the fastest spreading. Use only enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. For deep frying, use a temperature-controlled fryer. When finished frying, clean the surrounding area so there is no oil left on surfaces for the next time you cook.
Cooking temperature too high
Nearly 65% of kitchen fires are caused by burning food. Preheat the oven before cooking, and only use appropriate temperatures; and when using a gas stove, never let the flame rise over the pan.
Leaving cooking unattended
Don’t cook when tired, distracted or impaired. Don't multi-task while cooking. Use timers to prevent forgetfulness.
Faulty or old appliances
While your stove may appear to be in working order, internal damage can cause it to overheat or spark an electrical fire. If your stove is over 10 years old, it’s time for an inspection or replacement.
A crowded kitchen increases the risk of accidents that can lead to fire, such as causing someone to inadvertently knock over a cooking pot or frying pan. Keep your cooking area clear and safe.
Loose-fitting clothing can quickly ignite when in close contact with stove elements or flames. Do not wear loose clothing while cooking near a stove, and make sure when wearing an apron to keep the strings tied at the back.
Not having an appropriate and working kitchen fire extinguisher
For the kitchen, you need a Class ABC fire extinguisher, rated to be used for all types of fires including flammable liquids such as cooking oil and electrical fires.
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