If you are like most people, you know that kitchen fires are a very real threat – but what causes them, and how can you take steps to prevent them and keep your home safe? This guide explains.
The 3 Most Common Causes of Kitchen Fires
Check out the three most common causes of kitchen fires:
- Leaving food unattended on the stove
- Putting items too close to the heat source
- Accidentally turning on a stove or forgetting to turn it off
Here’s a closer look at each.
Cause #1 of Kitchen Fires: Leaving Food Unattended on the Stove
One of the most common causes of kitchen fires is leaving food unattended on the stove. In many cases, people forget that they’ve placed food items on the stove or in the oven, or they become distracted and step away, thinking it’ll be “just for a minute.” unfortunately, unattended food can burn very quickly, and it can cause a serious kitchen fire.
Cause #2 of Kitchen Fires: Putting Items too Close to Your Heat Source
It’s easy to put things too close to the heat source, particularly if you’re working with a small kitchen or tight counterspace. Unfortunately, particularly with gas stoves, flammable items can quickly catch fire.
Cause #3 of Kitchen Fires: Accidentally Turning On a Stove or Forgetting to Turn it Off
Brushing up against a knob or button can cause an unintentional kitchen fire. When you are cleaning, putting away groceries, or cooking other foods, it’s easy to bump into the controls for your stove or oven. Unfortunately, doing so often means that you don’t know you’ve turned the appliance on; that can lead to a kitchen fire before you even realize what’s happening.
What to Do if You Have a Kitchen Fire
Kitchen fires are different from fires in other areas of your home. Often, putting water on a kitchen fire is the worst thing you can do. Instead, you should cover the flames with a metal lid, or even a cookie sheet; be sure to turn off the heat source if you can safely do so. If the fire is small, you may be able to pour baking soda or salt on it to smother the flames. In other cases, you may need a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher.
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