Kitchen fires happen too often, and the majority are preventable. Unattended cooking is too often a significant factor in the cause of kitchen fires.
The average small kitchen fire can cause damage in excess of $50,000 dollars and displace residents from their homes from three to six months or more — not to mention the threat to life safety while others are sleeping.
When your kids are old enough to start cooking, teach them to stay in the kitchen while the stove or oven is on, and remove all cooking utensils from the stove top when finished.
Also unplug appliances when they are not in use.
Here are some other tips to help prevent kitchen fires:
• Never leave cooking unattended. Oil or fat can easily ignite.
• Always turn elements off when you are finished cooking.
• Cooking requires you to be alert. Avoid cooking when under the influence of alcohol or medications.
• Avoid wearing loose sleeves that may dangle into flames or onto hot elements.
• Prevent burns by turning pot handles toward the back of the stove when cooking. This will prevent pots from being pulled or knocked off the stove.
What to do when there is a fire in the kitchen?
• Grease fires: use a pot holder or oven mitt and slide a lid or a cookie sheet over the flames, then turn the heat off. Never put water on a grease fire.
• Oven fires: Close the oven door and turn the heat off.
• Microwave fires: Keep the door closed and turn the microwave off.
Information supplied by Captain Mike Schmidt, Mission’s fire prevention officer.