One of the more common types of fire in the American home is the kitchen fire. This is because there is a concentration of several fire hazards: electricity, fire source, and grease. A grease fire is particularly dangerous and common in a kitchen. Electrical fires are also common due to the many electrical appliances used to prepare and cook food.
Prepare for and Deal with Kitchen Fires Safely
Here are the general rules when it comes to mitigating and preventing a fire in your kitchen.
- Stay in the kitchen when frying and grilling. Whenever the oven or stove top is engaged, it is important that you stay near the kitchen for the majority of the cooking time. Timers can be beneficial to not only ensure that food is cooked thoroughly but to remind you to revisit your kitchen regularly.
- Attire matters. Don’t wear dangling sleeves or loose clothing when cooking. Most cloths are highly flammable to some extent.
- Several items in your kitchen can catch fire. Potholders, utensils made out of wood, oven mitts, plastic, and food packaging can easily catch fire. It is important that these aren’t near any sources of heat.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. If you do not know how to operate a fire extinguisher, then contact your local fire department and take up training. There are also online tutorials as to how to properly utilize a fire extinguisher.
Common Kitchen Fires
Grease fires typically occur due to old oil and animal fats accumulating at the bottom of an oven. The cooking oil will need to reach its smoke point before it ignites, with the source emanating a thick smoke before doing so.
If you notice smoke, turn off the heat source. Do not use water to extinguish a grease fire. Water will cause the oil to splash and “ignite,” with the vaporized water carrying grease particles and spreading the fire.
Fire needs oxygen to survive – cut off its life source, and it will die out. If the grease fire is on a flat surface, then cover the area with a metal lid. The fire will consume the oxygen in the air pocket within the lid and eventually die out. Pouring a thick layer of baking soda will also extinguish the grease fire. Keep in mind that you would need a lot of baking soda for it to soak up the oil and kill the grease fire effectively.
Electrical fires occur due to faulty wiring and overloading an outlet. Inquire about your building’s codes, as it is typically required that the kitchen has its own circuits separate from the rest of the home.
Do not overload your outlets. This is especially true if you have aluminum wiring, since they are a particularly high risk of fire when compared to copper. Contact your landlord or building manager and inquire as to the infrastructure of your home’s electrical system. You may need to completely rewire the home with all copper wiring that meets current code
If you need an electrician who can make sure that your home is safe from any possible kitchen fires, then get in touch with Tim Kyle Electric, Heating & Cooling. You can talk to an expert about new installations of lighting and wiring, among other things, for your home or business.
About Tim Kyle Electric, Heating & Cooling
Tim Kyle Electric, Heating & Cooling has been delighting our customers with responsive, trusted and professional electrical services since 1986. We provide residential, commercial and solar power services and are experts in our field. Our team of professionally trained employees uphold our core values of honesty, respect and integrity. We are available 24/7 for your electrical servicing needs. Get in touch with us today to discuss your next electrical project.