Kitchen Fire Safety

There can be no doubt that a fire alarm increases family safety. And with an average of about 375,000 residential fires per year in the US, it makes sense to include a good fire alarm as part of an overall family home safety plan.

Below are some family safety tips regarding fires that you may want to consider especially when cooking:

Indoor Cooking Safety Tips

Cooking areas, usually when utensils are used on a range or stovetop, are a main source of home fires and home fire injuries. Any cooking equipment should be approved and tested by a recognized organization (like Underwriting Laboratories).

When using the cooking appliances follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to work with them. Avoid using an extension cord for a cooking appliance and plug it directly into an outlet.

When cooking, refrain from wearing loose clothing (especially baggy sleeves) around the heat. Do not walk away from a cooking pot or gas burners that are on. Keep flammable materials like potholders and towels by the stove. The leading cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking.

Outdoor Cooking Safety Tips

Outdoor grilling is a great method of cooking especially in the warm weather. Here are some grilling safety tips:

  • Place the grill away from deck railings, eaves, over-hanging branches and deck railings.
  • Keep it a good distance away from traffic patterns, around play areas and where lawn games occur.
  • Use long handled grilling tools to keep the heat away from the cook.
  • Remove built up grease in the grease holders underneath so it doesn't become ignited.
  • Use the grill outdoors only. Using it in an enclosed space like a garage poses a carbon monoxide as well as a fire hazard.
  • Keep the starter fluid away from children and do not spray it on flames after the charcoal has been ignited.
  • Apply a soap and water solution to the hose of a propane tank to check for gas leaks.

Install a smoke alarm in every room and make sure they are in working order. Also make sure that everyone in the family, including small children, knows what the alarm sounds like.

Plan a fire escape route and practice it with your family. This means that you note all of the exit points and the fastest way to get to them in the event of a fire. Children as young as three can learn a fire escape route if it is practiced enough.

Learn fire protection techniques such as crawling low to the ground to avoid smoke, wrapping yourself in wet towels and dropping and rolling in case your clothes catch fire.

Keep any fireplaces clean and cleared of creosote (a substance produced by burning wood). Do not burn trash, paper (like Christmas wrapping paper) or green wood in a fireplace because the resulting flames can be difficult to control. When the fire is burning make sure the fireplace screen is heavy enough to block falling logs and large/fine enough to catch flying sparks.

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