5 Things You Can Do To Prevent Kitchen Fires
Sadly, many house fires that occur are preventable. As reported by the United States Fire Administration, cooking fires are the leading cause of house fires in the United States with more than 188,000 recorded each year. These fires are the cause of an annual average of 195 deaths, 3,800 injuries, and $463 million in property damages. As a homeowner, taking preventative actions can greatly decrease the chances of a fire in your home.
1.) Test your smoke alarms.
Smoke detectors, like all technology, are fallible and require maintenance. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends that homeowners test their smoke detectors at least once per month. It is also recommended that the batteries in the smoke detectors are replaced at least once or twice per year.
In order to test your smoke alarms, simply press and hold the "test" button located directly on the detector. As you hold your finger on the button, the siren will sound throughout your house. You should have a friend or family member stand as far away from the detector as possible to ensure that you can hear the alarm everywhere in the house. If they cannot hear the alarm, you’ll likely need additional detectors until the sirens reach all areas of the house.
2.) Don't leave hot cooking surfaces unattended.
Leaving hot cooking surfaces unattended accounts for approximately 40% of all cooking fires. If you have to leave the kitchen while you are cooking, you should turn off the oven or stove and remove any pots or pans from heated surfaces.
3.) Don't leave anything flammable near the stove or oven.
It is important that you don’t leave any flammable objects near your stove and oven while they are in use. This includes towels, oven mitts, cords, cookbooks and curtains. These objects can easily set fire if they accidentally are left too close to a burner.
4.) If you have children, create a child-free zone while cooking.
If you are cooking on the stove, use the back burners if possible. Additionally, make sure that any handles are turned toward the back of the stove.
5.) Close the oven door if your oven catches on fire.
A common misconception that people have is they should take matters into their own hands to put an oven fire out. In reality, if your oven catches fire the best thing that you can do is simply close the oven door. This will allow the fire to go out by itself and prevent it from spreading outside of your oven to the rest of your house.
If you have any questions about fire or smoke damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044.
National Fire Protection Association