Make Fire Safety a Priority in the Kitchen
Everyone enjoys a home-cooked meal. But whether you are preparing a feast or re-warming last night’s leftovers, it’s important to take some basic precautions to avoid turning a quiet meal into a devastating house fire.
Preventing cooking fires can be relatively simple. Here are some ideas to make your kitchen safer:
- Keep cooking areas free of combustible materials, such as potholders, packaging, and paper towels.
- Don’t wear loose clothing that can dangle onto a burner and catch fire.
- Don’t leave food unattended while it cooks.
- Don’t consume alcohol while cooking. Being even moderately impaired may inhibit response time if a fire breaks out.
- Keep a kitchen fire extinguisher, such as Quell’s 1 kg unit, suitable for cooking fat/oil fires inside of a kitchen cabinet and a 1 metre x 1 metre fire blanket.
- Read the instructions and know how to use your extinguisher and fire blanket before a fire breaks out.
- Check the pressure gauge on your extinguisher monthly to ensure it is charged and ready to use.
- Only use a fire extinguisher if the fire is small and self-contained. Be sure to notify the fire department before extinguishing the fire.
- Fire blankets may be used to extinguish small cooking fires and clothing fires.
- Keep a list of emergency numbers close by.
- Keep children and pets away from cooking areas by creating a one metre “safe zone” around the stove.
- Turn pot handles inward to prevent spills.
- Keep cooking appliances clean to prevent grease build-up, which can ignite if heated directly.
- Never pour water onto a cooking oil fire.
- If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent the flames from escaping.
- Never put metal objects into a microwave. If a microwave fire occurs, keep the door closed and unplug the unit immediately.
- Develop and practice an escape plan with your entire family. Plan two exit routes from each room, including the kitchen. Practice your escape plan at different times of the day and specify a meeting place outside.
And don’t forget to call 000 in the event of a kitchen fire, even if you have extinguished the flames.