It's National Fire Prevention Week and we'd like to highlight a few of the dangers associated with unattended cooking and risky kitchen habits.
You can do a lot to prevent kitchen fires. Although you can’t remove every possible source of a kitchen fire, you can minimize fire risks by removing hazards and keeping your kitchen well maintained.
Never leave the room when you're cooking. It's easy to think you'll only be away for a minute or two answering the door, stepping into the living room or going to the bathroom, but it could always take longer.
Remember that fat and oils are flammable. Most kitchen fires start when someone is heating fat or oil and forgets about it. The oil gets increasingly hotter, smokes, and then bursts into flames.
Steam is extremely hot and dangerous. Steam is water vapour that is above the boiling point. It's almost invisible, can be highly pressurized and can cause nasty burns.
Beware of deep fryers. Never get liquid near an oil fryer. It can instantly turn into steam, violently spraying hot oil.
Always have a fire extinguishers available in the kitchen and know how to use it.
If you have an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing.
Keep appliances serviced, clean, and in good repair. Wipe out the microwave. Dump the crumb tray and clean out crumbs periodically from the toaster. Clean the inside of your oven. Repair or replace any appliances that start acting funny.
Install a smoke detector near the kitchen (not in the kitchen). You don’t want regular cooking or small amounts of smoke or steam to constantly trigger the alarm — but you do want it to sense an actual kitchen fire.
Keep dish towels and paper towels away from the stove. You might leave a burner on by accident and built-up heat could ignite combustibles left near or on the stove.
Always roll up long sleeves and tie back long hair when cooking. This speaks for itself, you certainly don’t want to catch on fire!
The steps above may be familiar to most people, but please pass them along to anyone you think needs a reminder ;)