A large percentage of fires occur at home, and many fire accidents start in the kitchen. It's quite obvious why. People do their cooking in the kitchen and when they get a bit lax regarding kitchen safety, they might get into huge fire accidents. Although there are many things that can be done to put out fires that have already begun, the key is not allowing it to happen in the first place. Here are a few tips that you should always remember when cooking in the kitchen.
1. Wear proper kitchen attire
Though it may sound so basic, it's important to make sure that your sleeves aren't long when cooking. Wear something with short sleeves or roll up garments with longer sleeves to prevent clothes from catching fire. If you have long hair, tie it up in a pony tail to prevent this from trailing on your sauce or catching fire.
- In case your clothes catch fire, remember to stop immediately. Drop on the floor and roll. Rolling on the floor will put out the fire. Do not attempt to run as this will only fan the flames. If someone else catches fire, have him stop immediately, drop and roll. Help put out the fire by using a rug or blanket.
2. Use the right cooking tools
It's important to use the right cooking tools to avoid spills and fires. For example, deep fryers are highly recommended for frying anything that you like. You and your home are at risk if you use shallow pans for frying food as grease can tip out and catch fire easily. It's also best to use kitchen tools that will enhance your safety while cooking. An example is a spatter guard. This metal mesh or metal sheet circular kitchen gadget is placed over a pan while frying to prevent hot oil from scattering.
Always use cookware correctly or as directed by manufacturers. If a pan is not intended for oven use, then don't attempt to use it for baking. If you don't heed label warnings, you are endangering yourself.
It's also important to avoid using any container that's not recommended for microwave use. For instance, it's not advisable to use metal items in the microwave as these can generate sparks that could start a fire or cause a small explosion.
- In case grease on a pan catches fire, place a lid on it. By doing so, you rob the fire of oxygen, which fuels it. Then, always turn the burner off as soon as possible. Do not grab the pan and run to the sink and do not throw burning oil in a trash bin. You'll risk burning yourself and you might also spread the fire. More importantly, do not put out a grease fire using water.
- In case of a fire that starts in a microwave, immediately turn the device off and pull the plug. Do not open the microwave as this will most likely cause the fire to get bigger.
3. Always be alert when cooking
Even though you're so used to cooking, do not let your guard down when something is on the burner. Food that's been forgotten while still cooking on the burner is one of the leading causes of kitchen fires. Furthermore, be attentive to the things that are near your burner. Oven mitts, paper towels and pot holders can readily catch fire. If you also have kids at home, make sure that handles are turned inwards to prevent burn accidents.
- In case something catches fire, be prepared to put it out. Have a fire extinguisher ready and know how to use it. Just remember to pull, then point and squeeze. First, pull the pin. Second, point the nozzle. Finally, squeeze the trigger and make a sweeping motion. Make sure that the nozzle is pointed at the bottom of the flames.
About the author: Claire Lassiter regularly writes about home improvement issues. She specializes in issues regarding fire and water damage repair and blogs for various businesses.