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Fire safety in the kitchen

May 12, 2014

Kitchen accidents are the number one cause of house fires in Australia, and they are generally exacerbated by an inadequate degree of knowledge on how to fight fires should the worst happen. These tips could help you to protect yourself, your family, and your home when kitchen preparation gets out of hand.

Be prepared for anything

Although most of us hope to never experience a kitchen fire, it’s important that you know how to deal with one in the event that it does occur.

First of all, make sure that there are always fresh, working batteries in your smoke alarms. This is the number one thing that you can do to increase the safety of your kitchen and should not be ignored.

All kitchens should have a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket stored at least one metre away from the stove, somewhere between the cooktop and the nearest exit.

It’s useful to have the lids for your pots and pans on hand to help you smother smaller fires that might break out, and remember that you should never attempt to extinguish a grease fire with water, as this will cause the fire to “flash up”.

Make sure that you and your family have an escape plan in mind in the event that a fire burns beyond your control.

Don’t leave flammable objects near heat

A large percentage of kitchen fires take place because items such as oven mitts, kitchen towels, and even stray appliance cords are left in the wrong places. Sometimes, a person’s clothing or hair could even get caught and lead to damage or injury. Always make sure that you are properly dressed for cooking, and that you keep flammable items away from sources of heat to avoid accidents.

Never leave cooking food unattended

Another primary cause of kitchen fires is when people leave food to cook unattended. If you need to leave the kitchen for a short while, even if it is only temporarily, it’s a good idea to play it safe and turn off the heat on your oven, and move pots and pans to a safe location.

Following these tips will greatly decrease the chances of a kitchen fire occurring, however if you do find yourself in an emergency situation, your primary concern should always be your safety and the safety of those around you.