Across the country, numerous agencies are taking part in Fire Prevention Week, with this year’s event placing a special emphasis on reducing the threat of a fire in the kitchen. People grow comfortable in their own environments over the course of time, and sometimes safety can grow lax. To make sure that you’re reducing the fire risk and that you’re prepared to react properly when a fire erupts, you might take a look at some of the tips on hand from a news release from the state of Michigan.
The best thing you can do is take those precautions that can prevent a fire in your household kitchen in the first place. You can start by positioning yourself within the kitchen at all times during cooking. Anytime the stove top is being used, you have to be available to monitor progress. You can be a little more lenient with the oven itself, as it’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to hang out in a kitchen for the hours upon hours it takes to bake some things.
These directives are particularly important if you have children. To further protect them, place your cooking equipment on the back burners. That way, a child won’t be able to reach up and send scalding hot contents tumbling off the stove. You can further protect kids by pointing handles toward the wall rather than over the floor.
When you’re working, make sure that you’re wearing clothing conducive to the task at hand. Sleeves should be tight so that they aren’t in danger of catching fire and won’t trail into whatever you’re preparing. You should keep flammable items a sufficient distance away in case a fire does get out of control. That includes washcloths and even wooden cooking implements. For an additional preventative measure, keep the area around the stove clean by scrubbing away spilt food and grease.
If a fire does break out, then different steps need to be taken depending on what type of fire you’re dealing with. If you’re dealing with a grease fire, for instance, you may be able to snuff it out by simply taking the lid to whatever pot or pan you’re using and affixing it to the top. To prevent shattering, slide it over the top from the side and then immediately turn off the stove. Before you pull the lid off again, make sure the fire is squelched and that the pot has been given sufficient time to cool.
Should a fire break out in your oven, it’s usually a good idea to just keep the door closed rather than panic and open it up. When the door stays closed and you turn off the stove, there’s a good chance that the fire will go out of its own accord.
Finally, have a fire extinguisher on hand so that you can deal with fires that don’t go out so easily, and be ready to dial 911 if need be.