Kitchen Fires – What to know, do and how to prevent

mrs doubtfire

What you should know:

  • Be on alert when you are cooking, if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove.
  • Oil is the most common ingredient used in the kitchen, and is highly flammable. When using oil if you see wisps of smoke, turn off the stove or remove th pan from the heat. Smoke is a sign that the oil is too hot.
  • Heat oil slowly to the temperature you require.
  • Add food gently to the pot to prevent oil splattering.

How to prevent:

  • Do not leave cooking food unsupervised.
  • Check cooking food regularly, use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep towels, food packaging wooden utensils, curtains, oven mitts etc. away from your stove top.
  • Make sure your appliances are serviced, clean and in good condition. Unplug any appliances that do not function as the should and have them repaired/replaced immediately.
  • Unplug any electrical appliances when they are not being used.
  • Install a smoke detector near but not in the kitchen and where possible install a heat detector in the kitchen. A smoke detector in the kitchen will go off with any small amount of smoke or steam, a heat detector will activate when it senses the heat from a fire has broken out.
  • Take care when lighting the pilot light or burner, make sure you are following the manufacturers instructions.
  • Do not put metal into the microwave – this can cause sparks.
  • Do not over fill pots/pans with oil, splatters from the oil can cause fires.
  • Keep your kitchen clean from spills and never cook on a dirty stove.
  • Always roll up you sleeves and tie back your hair when cooking, reducing the risk of clothes/hair catching fire.

If a fire does break out:

  • Leave the building immediately.
  • Call Emergency Services.
  • If the fire is small and contained and you know how to operate a fire extinguisher, you can try to extinguish the fire. Make sure that others are getting out and you have a clear way to exit.
  • Keep a lid beside the pot/pan so you can smoother small grease fires. Slide the lid over the pan and turn off the stove. Leave pan covered until all is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire – turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

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