Kitchen fires can be a terrifying experience, especially if they get out of control. While you can pick up the pieces with homeowners insurance, make sure you have other plans in place that make that safety net your last option. Below are a few tips and precautions on how to reduce the risk of a kitchen fire.
Lines of Defense for a Kitchen Fire
1. Stay Attentive in the Kitchen While Cooking
The first rule of any kitchen is to never leave the room when you are actively cooking something. If you have to step out for even a second, turn off the heat and, if using a cook-top, move the pot or pan off the heat. Please note, NEVER use water to put out a cooking oil or grease fire in your kitchen. Here are some effective ways to safely put out a grease fire in your kitchen.
2. Maintain Your Appliances
Do your due diligence as an appliance owner and keep them well-maintained. Empty the crumb tray of your toaster, get a frayed wire of your coffee maker fixed, use the clean setting on your oven, and don’t use your stove-top when it’s “acting funny.” No need adding additional hazards to cooking—a task where you’re literally playing with fire.
3. Install a Smoke Detector in a Safe, Reasonably-Spaced Spot
Smoke detectors are a vital piece of fire safety in your house or apartment, but if they’re too close to the oven, they’re a little too good at their job. Have you fire alarm a healthy distance from the cooking area, and it will only go off when you really need it. Also, make sure that it’s working by testing the alarm regularly and changing the batteries every six months.
4. Avoid Metal in the Microwave
For those of you who don’t know what it’s like to try making microwave eggs in a metal bowl, microwaves begin to spark when they are cooking metal. These sparks can turn to fire if left cooking for too long, so use microwave-friendly dishes to avoid a flammable scramble.
5. Keep Your Stove Clean
The build-up of grease on a dirty stove is one of the top causes of kitchen fires, and when that grease lights, it torches your whole kitchen. Avoid that situation by wiping down your stove-top every time you cook.
6. Roll Up Sleeves & Tie Back Hair
Keep in mind those lab safety rules you learned in science class: if you’re near an open flame, make sure you have any loose hair tied back and don’t have loose clothing. You don’t want your favorite blouse or your precious locks falling in your food anyway, so save yourself the risk either way.
7. Keep Flammable Items Away from Stove Burners
Be hyper aware of any dish towels, pot holders, or papers towels lying too close to a cook-top. If you leave a burner on by accident or throw the towel on top of it, it could be up in flames within seconds.
8. Never Throw Hot Grease in the Garbage
Always let grease cool before disposing of it, and always dispose of it in the trash. Hot grease in the trash will cause other trash to burn from the heat, and grease of any temperature down the sink will clog your pipes and cause a whole different issue that may lead to a homeowners insurance claim. Leave your dishes for after dinner so the grease has time to cool.
9. Keep a Fire Extinguisher on Hand
For obvious reasons, a fire extinguisher can save the day if a fire does happen. Have it under the sink or in your pantry for a quick save. When it comes time to use this firefighting device, stand with your face to the fire and your back close to the door. If the fire gets too intense, prioritize escaping the blaze rather than extinguishing it, and call the fire department once you’re out of the house.
By following these suggestions, you may be able to avoid damages that could result in a large insurance claim. For more information on protecting your property, get in touch with the team at Farmers Mutual of Tennessee. Since 1913, they have provided quality insurance coverage at an affordable price to residents throughout the state of Tennessee. Their local independent agent will be happy to help you find the right coverage for your home, mobile home, rental dwelling, or farm at a price that suits your budget. Give Farmers Mutual of Tennessee a call today at (800) 824-9555, and visit them online for more information.