The kitchen is often the center of the home, but many potential fire hazards are lurking there. While some fires can’t be easily prevented, there are steps you can take to make your kitchen a safer place. These are easy fixes that can significantly decrease your risk. At LaPointe Construction Board-Up Service, we’ve seen first-hand the damage and heartache a fire can cause. Read on for tips to lower the risk of a fire starting in your kitchen.
Don’t leave things that are cooking unattended.
You should never leave anything cooking on your stovetop unattended, whether it be a stir-fry or something as simple as a pot of water preparing to boil. Sometimes all it takes for a fire to start is stepping away from your oven at the wrong moment. Instead of leaving your stove on if you have to take an important call or answer the door, turn the burner off. This applies whether you have a gas or electric range. If you are heating up grease in a pan, watch for smoke. Smoke is a sign that the grease is too hot, so immediately turn the heat down.
Your oven doesn’t have to be watched as closely while baking or broiling, but never leave it running if you have to leave your home, even if it’s for a short visit to the store. Be sure to check the progress of your dish periodically. If you notice any smoke or burning smells coming from your oven, turn it off immediately, let it cool down completely, and then inspect for charred food debris or an accumulation of grease. Clean it before using it again and if the problem persists call a repair technician.
Clean your stovetop and oven regularly.
Along the same lines as the advice above, always make sure to perform routine cleaning of your stovetop and oven to prevent a buildup of food particles or grease that could present a fire hazard. Wipe out the burner pans beneath all of your burners at least once a week, especially when you notice crumbs accumulating.
Also be sure to wipe out your oven whenever any significant food spills occur, and give the interior a routine, thorough cleaning once a month. If you keep up with this basic routine, not only will you lower your risk of fire, but you can also prevent unpleasant smells caused by burning crumbs and grease from permeating your home.
Unplug your appliances when not in use.
This is a tip that people often brush over, but whenever your appliances are plugged in, they are constantly drawing energy and possibly presenting a fire hazard. If they’re too close to the sink, they could get wet, which presents a risk for an electrical fire. Unplug your toaster, blender, crockpot, and other countertop appliances when not in use. If you happen to use a crockpot that you set in the morning before work, make sure that nothing is touching the bottom heating element and that the cord is free from obstructions. Periodically check the cords on all of your appliances for any signs of wear or damage, including around the plug. If you notice any warping, melting, or fraying, either have the appliance repaired or replace it.
Make sure that kitchen towels, cookbooks, and cleaners are far away from your stove.
One of these items could catch on fire if they get too close to the burners or if errant hot grease splashes on them. Don’t keep your kitchen towel on the oven handle when it is in use. Move cookbooks inside a cupboard or to a display that is away from your oven, even if this reduces the convenience of using them.
Purchase a class ABC fire extinguisher and keep it in your kitchen.
An ABC extinguisher, which uses a yellow powder to put out all 3 types of fires, is one of the smartest investments you can make to protect your kitchen. Purchase one and keep it either hung on the wall by the door or in a hallway or alcove next to your kitchen. Make sure you and every member of your family knows how to use it and check it annually to make sure that it is in proper working order.
LaPointe Construction Board-Up Service is a family-owned company, so we understand how important it is to restore your kitchen if you are unfortunate enough to experience a fire. It can be a serious inconvenience to have to do without your kitchen for any significant period of time. Let us restore your kitchen quickly and expertly with our fire restoration services. If you are in need of fire restoration assistance, call us at 978-447-5991 to discuss how we can help. You can also visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LaPointeConstruction for more information about fire restoration.