Fire!! fire!! are words you don’t want to hear in the kitchen. How to prevent fire in the kitchen is not a skill but a practice. There are some basic behaviors and practices that you must have in mind to prevent fire in the kitchen. Start by practicing safe cooking behavior. Safe cooking behavior is like ensuring all flammable materials are away from the stove and no electric cables are hanging around.
The following article has comprehensive techniques to prevent fire in the kitchen. Understand and master each one of them and you will have a safe kitchen for many years.
Practices To Prevent Fire in the Kitchen
1. Ensure the Kitchen and the Stove are Clean
Cleanliness is the best way to prevent fire in the kitchen. Most of the kitchen fires start on the spills like grease and vinegar. Always wipe the spills when cooking or after cooking and your kitchen will be safe from fire accidents. The tops of cooking stoves need to be grease-free and clean. Most grease fires start when you have several pots on the stove.
Apart from the cooking stove, ensure other kitchen appliances are also clean. Clean the heating appliances like the toaster oven, bread toasters, and deep fryers. Such appliances develop flammable stuff after long use. Use an oil remover or alcohol to remove such dangerous substances.
2. Inspect and Maintain Your Cooking Equipment
Do a regular inspection of the condition of your cooking equipment. More than 50% of kitchen fires start from imperfect cooking appliances. Experts advise you use an expert because the inspection process is somehow complicated. A professional will tell you all appliances that need servicing and where to do repairs.
A professional inspector is expensive but he will save you lots of property. Examine the gas pipes and electric cords because they are the main fire starters in the kitchen.
3. Install Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors are small devices that sound an alarm when there is an extraordinary amount of smoke in the kitchen. These devices are affordable and readily available in most retail outlets. In case you already have them, make sure you do regular inspection and maintenance. Replace the batteries and clean them for effective results.
Where you install the smoke detector is also important. Install smoke detectors directly above the vulnerable places like above the cooking stoves. Nowadays, there are digital smoke detectors that are linked to your smartphones in case a fire starts when you are not at home. The best smoke detectors are wired to the sprinkler system for automatic fire put out.
4. Get a Backup Fire Extinguisher
Besides the sprinkler system and automated smoke detectors, it is good to have backup fire extinguishers. Try and have the gas and powder extinguishers as the backup because you already have water in the sprinklers.
To prevent fire in the kitchen you have to understand the type of fire. Some fires like grease fires do not use water to put them out hence you need gas and powder fire extinguishers. Also, inspect and maintain the extinguishers at full level. it is also important to ensure they are working perfectly.
5. Disconnect Appliances When Not in Use
Disconnecting appliances does not mean you unplug electric equipment but you must also disconnect the gas. Electric appliances can still draw power when the socket is switched off, so it is good to unplug all kitchen appliances before you leave the house or go to bed. Or switch off the kitchen’s main switch and no power will be running in the kitchen.
For the gas appliances, shut down the main gas supply valve or disconnect the plug from the tank. Do not use extension cords with kitchen electric appliances because they can easily overheat and start a fire. You are advised to plugin directly into the electric power supply.
6. Keep Off the Flammable Materials
The kitchen is full of flammable substances and we cannot avoid them because some of them make food taste better. What you can do is to ensure they are some distance off the flames or heating tools like a toaster or water heater.
Identify all flammable substances in your kitchen and place them in an isolated cupboard. You can place them in a separate room if your kitchen is small. Some of the flammable things in the kitchen are; rubbing alcohol, vinegar, hand sanitizer, and flour.
7. Organize Your Kitchen
Keeping flammable items on one shelf is part of organizing your kitchen. Organize stuff to prevent fire in the kitchen. Categorize the tools and utensils in your kitchen for easy identification and a good escape route in case of fire.
Do not lay electric cords and gas pipes on the kitchen floor because you can easily get trapped in them. If it is a must they pass on the floor, make sure it is underground. It will be easy to put out a fire in an organized kitchen because all fire extinguishing equipment is displayed and labeled.
8. Maintain Maximum Concentration While Cooking
Always focus on the cooking just like driving. Prevent fire in the kitchen by having 100 percent focus on what you are doing. Watch and control the heat or else the grease will catch fire and result in a kitchen fire. The maximum focus will ensure you notice a fault before the fire starts. For example, you can notice sparks on an electric cord before the real fire ignites.
9. Do Not Leave Anything Unattended
Have maximum concentration and do not leave the cooking food and stove unattended. The food can over-boil or heat leading to a kitchen fire. If it is a must you wait for food to cook turn use a timer and set it a few minutes before the correct time? Doing so will give you tie to prepare before the food is ready.
Never leave children and pets unattended in the kitchen. Children and pets do not have the logical thinking capacity to make appropriate decisions in case of accidents. Train your children and pets not to play around the kitchen. Also prevent them from standing on the kitchen counter, stool, or chair because they can easily flip into the fire.
10. Do Not Wear Loose Clothes While Cooking
Loose clothes like long sleeves can easily catch fire and spread it in the whole kitchen. Wear fitting clothes to prevent fire in the kitchen. Or roll up your sleeves when cooking. Do not forget to attend to long hair, it can easily start a fire.
Also do not use flammable chemicals in your hair or on your body. Some objects like towels are not flammable but can easily catch fire, so ensure they are at a safe distance.
11. Keep the Pot Lids and Oven Mitt Around
Pot lids may look useless but can help you control small grease fires before they spread. It is simple physics whereby no oxygen then no combustion. The lid will cut the amount of oxygen supply then the grease will stop igniting. Do not use water to put out a grease fire, you will be exposing grease to more oxygen. (Grease floats on water)
12. Adequate Training on Kitchen Fire
To prevent fire in the kitchen starts with basic knowledge about kitchen fires. So it is good to train yourself and your household on how to prevent fire in the kitchen. Such training is important to children to help them avoid the kitchen whenever necessary. Some pets like dogs are trainable and can avoid the kitchen when you teach them to do so.
How to Remove Grease From a Cooking Stove
To prevent fire in the kitchen you should get rid of grease on cooking stoves. However, there are two types of cooking stoves, the electric one, and the gas cooking stove. Each one of these stoves has different methods of cleaning. Below are the procedures for both types of cooking stoves.
How to Clean Grease From a Gas Cooking Stove
Make sure the stove has cooled down before you start cleaning it. Then pour warm water in a bowl and add some drops of liquid dish wash soap. Use your hand to shake the water until bubbles form.
Then dip the whole towel into the soapy solution and ensure it is saturated. Then sprinkle one tablespoon of baking soda on the saturated towel (do not remove it from warm water). And also sprinkle some baking soda on top of the gas cooking stove.
Take the towel out of the soapy solution and wring it to medium saturation. Then spread the semi-saturated towel over the top of the gas cooking stove for about thirty minutes. The warm towel will loosen all greasy and oily stains on the stove.
Immediately after 30 minutes, use the same towel with a soapy solution to scrub off the grease. It will be interesting to see how easily the grease comes off the stove. You can also use a non-abrasive scrubbing mat to remove the grease. Make sure you scrub in a circular motion and use little pressure not to destroy the gas pipes and gas outlets.
Use a clean and dry towel to clean the baking soda and soapy solution. Most gas cooking stoves have stainless steel, so it will be easy to wipe off the dirt with a clean towel. Rinse the towel in a bowl of clean water and continue wiping the baking soda and soapy solution.
Allow your gas cooking stove to dry and it is ready for use. If you are in a hurry you can use a dry towel to wipe off all the moisture from the stove.
How to Clean Grease From an Electric Cooking Stove
Of course, electricity and water do not agree. So you have to find a way to remove grease from an electric cooking stove without using water. Below is the perfect procedure to prevent fire in the kitchen by cleaning an electric cooking stove.
Here also make sure the electric stove is cool before you start cleaning it. Put a clean towel in a bowl of clean water and wring it.
Lay the semi-wet towel on a flat surface and sprinkle two tablespoons of baking soda also spread a few drops of dishwashing soap on the towel.
On the other hand, take an empty bowl and add two tablespoons of baking soda and mix it with half a glass of warm water. It will form a paste for cleaning stubborn stains on the electric stove.
Use the semi-wet towel to rub the baking soda paste on the electric stove and give it minutes to loosen the dirt.
Then use the wet towel to scrub and remove the grease. Once you are done, use a dry towel to remove the moisture and the paste solution. Ensure the oven is dry before you plug it in the power socket.
It is not easy to prevent fire in the kitchen but it requires due diligence and practicing safe cooking. This means you must be careful with all things you are doing while in the kitchen. First, keep your cooking tools clean and inspect all appliances every month. Always have fire extinguishers around and avoid flammable material around the cooking stove. Understand how to unclog a kitchen sink here.