According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking is the leading cause of house fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Almost half (44%) of reported house fires start in the kitchen.
- The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
- Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
- Thanksgiving is the leading day for fires involving cooking equipment.
- Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a house fire in half.
As professional Arizona fire damage restoration contractors, we see firsthand the tragedy and destruction a kitchen fire causes. And most times, homeowners can prevent these types of fires.
Kitchen Fire Safety Tips
The theme for National Fire Prevention Week (October) is “Serve Up Fire Prevention in the Kitchen.” NFPA is a non-profit organization established in 1896 devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss because of fire, electrical, and related hazards.
Here are some NFPA kitchen fire safety tips you can implement to reduce the chances of a devastating house fire.
How to Prevent Kitchen Fires
- STAY IN THE KITCHEN when cooking. Be especially attentive if cooking with oil or at high temperatures. If you must leave the kitchen for any reason, turn off the burner.
- If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire such as oven mitts, towels, cookbooks, paper products, food packaging, and curtains away from your stovetop.
- Thoroughly clean and remove any build-up of grease, which can easily ignite, from around the stove.
- When cooking, wear tight-fitting clothing or short sleeves so your clothes won’t catch on fire. Baggy clothes or dangling sleeves can brush over a hot burner and catch fire.
- Never start cooking when you are tired or have taken any medication that causes drowsiness.
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
How To Put Out A Kitchen Fire Caused By Cooking
How do I put out a kitchen grease fire?
If you experience a small grease fire, don’t move the pot or pan. And never try to extinguish the fire with water. Water and oil don’t mix. Attempting this will only super-heat the water, causing it to splatter and spread the fire further.
Instead, cover the pot with a lid to smother the flames. Turn off the burner. A grease fire requires a source of heat to maintain itself.
When in any doubt regarding your ability to extinguish a grease fire, leave! Call 911 once you have safely evacuated.
How do I stop a kitchen fire in the oven?
For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
How do I put out a microwave fire?
If you have a fire in the microwave, leave the door closed, turn it off, and unplug it from the wall. If the fire does not go out, get outside and call the fire department.
What kind of kitchen fire extinguisher should I have?
Do not use a fire extinguisher on a stovetop, oven, or microwave. The force can scatter burning liquids or materials, spread the flames, cause greater damage, and even injury. Only use an extinguisher in the kitchen for nearby spot fires (fabric, paper, etc.)
24/7 Emergency Fire Damage Restoration Services
Fire causes enough damage to your property and personal possessions on its own, but it is often compounded by damage from soot, smoke, and water.
If you find yourself the victim of a house fire, we’re ready to help with compassion and expertise. Contact ATH Restoration for a free onsite assessment, consultation, and action plan to help you recover as quickly as possible.