Tips on Fire Safety in the Kitchen
With 60% of fires in the home starting in the kitchen, it’s important to learn what causes them and the best practices for putting a stop to a fire before it starts. We’ve put together some useful information to help you to avoid any damages to yourself or your home:
The first, and most important, rule is to never leave cooking on hobs or in a grill unattended.
If you do need to leave the kitchen for any reason, turn off the heat and wait until you’re able to come back into the room before turning it on again. By being in the room, you’re able to keep an eye on your cooking and make sure nothing dangerous is happening (sparking, overflowing food, flames catching, etc).
This includes supervising children and pets in the kitchen, as they can easily knock something over and start a fire. Make sure that items like matches and saucepan handles are safely out of reach.
If you’re feeling tired or drowsy, it might even be safer to avoid cooking altogether. Drinking alcohol, taking medication, or just having a long day can make you tired and less aware of your surroundings, making it more likely to accidentally start a fire.
And when you’ve finished cooking, take care to double-check that your appliances are fully turned off!
Checking on your appliances
It’s always good to have a fire alarm in every room of the house, but have you got the right one for your kitchen?
Most rooms are fitted with smoke alarms, but these are less suitable for a kitchen that can fill with steam or smoke easily when you’re cooking. Instead, opt for a heat alarm that will be triggered once the temperature rises above 57 degrees (which isn’t low enough to catch your burnt breakfast, don’t worry!)
Whilst you’re checking on your fire alarm, take some time to make sure your kitchen appliances are still safe to use too. Websites like www.registermyappliance.org.uk will contact you when a company has ordered any safety repairs or recalls on appliances that you own.
As well as this, you can go to www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/product-recalls to search for your product and see from The Electrical Safety Council’s database what products have been recalled since 2007.
By checking these websites, you’ll know if your appliance is still safe to use or if it’s a fire hazard for your kitchen.
Keeping your kitchen tidy
A common mistake that people make in their kitchens is the placement of worktop appliances and flammable materials.
Items like your toaster or kettle should never be placed nearby something that can catch fire easily, such as a curtain or tea towel. Put your worktop appliances in a safer space that has more free room surrounding it.
These appliances should also be checked that they aren’t overloading the sockets they’re plugged into. Be careful not to plug in multiple appliances that take a lot of power, like a kettle.
Don’t forget about kitchen hygiene – it can help stop more than just bacteria. Regularly cleaning the oven, hobs, extractor fan, grill and areas around where you cook can reduce the chance of a fire, as a build up of fat and grease can catch easily catch light. Whilst cleaning your extractor fan, make sure that the ventilation is unblocked and air can move through it freely, especially if you have a gas oven.
For more information on fire safety in your home, visit the fire safety page on our website.