One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions for Americans is losing weight and eating healthier. In fact, weight-related goals were the most made resolution in 2017, according to statistics reported by Statistic Brain. That trend is sure to continue this year and well into the future. But whether you’re someone who makes New Year’s resolutions or not, a holiday full of gluttonous meals and treats, not to mention overspending on gifts and holiday cheer, may mean more meals will be cooked in your kitchen instead of eaten out or carried in. And as kitchen cooking increases, so does your risk for home fires.
Cooking Fire Facts
Cooking is the leading cause of fires and home fire injuries, with an average of 455 fires occurring daily, according to the National Fire Protection Agency’s (NFPA) “Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment Report & NFIRS” data.
The report shows stove-top ranges and cook-tops are the cause for almost three out of every five reported home fires, whereas ovens account for 13 percent. And this biggest contributing factor to home fires is unattended cooking, which happens in 33 percent of the home fires related to cooking equipment and leads to 49 percent of associated deaths and 46 percent of associated injuries.
Stay Safe When Cooking in the Kitchen
Whatever your reason for doing more in-home cooking, don’t let the benefits go up in flames. Take precautionary measures to create a delicious home-cooked meal while keeping you, your family, your home, and your possessions safe. Before things heat up in the kitchen, follow a recipe for safe cooking in the kitchen using these NFPA-recommended tips.
- Stay in the kitchen. With so many fires being caused by unattended cooking, your best bet is to stay put when the stove, oven, or other cooking appliance is on. Doing so will allow you to respond more quickly should a fire ignite. The faster you respond, the less clean up and damage there may be.
- Be attentive. Being in the kitchen only works well if you remain alert to what’s on the stove or in the oven. If you’re overly tired or distracted, your cooking is just as unattended as if you weren’t in the room. Avoid cooking if you’re too sleepy or have consumed alcohol or medication that prevents you from staying vigilant.
- Eliminate flammable items. Move away items from the stove-top that can easily catch on fire. That includes kitchen linens, food packaging, wooden utensils, paper towels, or oven mitts.
- Create a safety zone. Children and pets can easily get injured in the kitchen if not careful. Prevent this from happening by creating a 3-foot safety zone where little ones aren’t allowed. These zones should limit their access to the stove and oven, cooking appliances, and any space where hot pots, pans, or dishes may be.
- Stock your kitchen. Despite your best prevention, kitchen fires can happen. By acting fast with the right supplies, you can extinguish the fire quickly and with minimal or no damage.
- Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least twice a year to help you stay alert in the kitchen.
- Have a working fire extinguisher handy, and study up so that you know how to use it in an emergency situation.
- Keep a lid nearby when cooking on the stove-top. If a fire ignites, slide the lid in place, turn off the burner, and leave the lid in place until the fire is out.
- Should an oven fire occurs, turn off the heat source and close the oven door until the fire is out.
If a fire happens and you’re unsure how to respond or if the flames have become un-containable, your best bet is to get out of the home immediately and call 911. Your local emergency professionals are better equipped to respond to the fire and minimize damage. If restoration services are needed to repair your kitchen, remove smoke odors, or return your home to its pre-existing condition, our trained restoration technicians are standing by to respond and help.
Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration
At McMahon Services & Construction, we employ a twenty-person crew with trained experts able to manage a full range of Fire Damage Restoration Services. We pride ourselves in our ability to handle all of an insured’s needs, from restoration of contents through structural reconstruction, and everything in between.
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