More home fires occur in winter than any other time of the year—and a majority of those fires begin in the kitchen. For that reason, it’s extremely important that anyone who spends time in the kitchen knows some of the basic rules of fire safety. By knowing and following a few basic precautions, you can prevent catastrophe.
How to prevent fires
Here are a few basic rules that will help prevent a majority of kitchen fires:
- Never leave cooking food unattended—particularly anything on the stovetop. Smoke usually appears before flames, and as long as someone is in the area they will be able to react quickly to prevent the fire from spreading.
- Keep all flammable items away from the stove and other heating sources.
- Don’t wear loose or baggy clothing while cooking.
- Do not use appliances if the wiring is frayed or worn.
- Install a smoke detector and home fire extinguisher in the kitchen area.
What to do if a fire starts
If a fire starts in your kitchen, you have only moments to prevent it from getting worse and potentially engulfing your entire home. Here are some guidelines for how to react to a kitchen fire.
- Never throw water on a grease fire.
- If a grease fire starts, remove the pot from the heat and seal it with a tight-fitting lid—this will keep the fire from getting the oxygen it needs. Do not remove the lid for at least 30 minutes.
- If available, use a home fire extinguisher to put out the flames.
- If you are unable to extinguish the fire, leave your home and call 911.
By teaching these rules to your family members, you can help prevent a devastating fire.