Extinguish Fire Risk in the Kitchenplanning ahead // on Tuesday December 13, 2016
Kitchens are hot spots in homes and organizations – literally. They’re a common source of fires in homes and religious properties, according to the National Fire Protection Association, and the risk of fire increases during the holidays.
Whether you’re making a meal for a holiday get-together or helping to prepare a meal that will be delivered to the less-fortunate in your area, it’s important to make fire safety a priority:
DO equip the kitchen with fully operational smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. Review this checklist for smoke detector and fire extinguisher guidelines.
DON’T let children near cooking appliances. If they’re helping out in the kitchen, require that they stay at least three feet away from the stove. Position cookware handles inward so pots and pans can’t be tipped or bumped.
DO move paper bags, pot holders, recipe cards, wooden utensils and other items that can catch fire away from cooking surfaces. One item you do want in easy reach? A pan lid or baking sheet that can quickly extinguish a pan fire.
DON’T wear tops with loose, long sleeves that could brush a burner and catch fire. Roll up your sleeves or wear a top with short sleeves. If you have long hair, pull it back.
DO thoroughly clean cooking surfaces and floors and walls around cooking appliances regularly to prevent grease buildup. At a minimum, a once-weekly wipe-down is recommended.
DON’T get distracted and don’t leave your cooking unattended. If you need to leave the kitchen, turn burners off before leaving. Use a timer to help you keep tabs on food baking in the oven.
DO hire a qualified contractor to service your kitchen’s ventilation hood, grease-removal devices, fans, ducts and other equipment to prevent grease buildup. Aim to do this every six months, or more frequently if there’s heavy grease accumulation.