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Whether preparing supper after a long day or breakfast on your way to work, the last thing you need is a fire in the kitchen. Even with years of cooking experience, things only take seconds to catch fire. According to a 2020 report released by the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 49% of fires at the home start in the kitchen. The Remediation Team has provided fire damage restoration services for years, so we understand the devastation caused by fire and how to mitigate further damage. As the holiday season peaks, homeowners must familiarize themselves with the common causes of kitchen fires. Here are some of the common causes of fires in the kitchen to look out for.
This is hands down the leading cause of most kitchen fires. While it may seem like a minor issue, it was discovered that it was the cause of nearly 31% of all home fires and 53% of cooking-related deaths between 2014 – 2018. Answering the door or your phone for even a second can quickly take a turn for the worst. Most people multitask to save time, leading to severe damage and injuries. If an open flame is too high, always pay attention to the stove to prevent fire hazards. Refraining from cooking if you are tired or unwell is advisable since fatigue and sleeping accounted for 40% of civilian casualties and 23% of kitchen fires.
When boiling or frying something with oil, you can’t afford to divert your attention even for a second. Nearly 66% of kitchen fires occur after cooking fat, butter, oil, grease, and other substances catch fire and ignite. Oil is difficult to put out once it catches fire because it spreads, and if there’s residue from stovetops, it can still ignite the next time you cook. We recommend covering the bottom of the pan with sufficient oil that doesn’t submerge your food, placing food gently into the pan, and cleaning the cooking area of oil splatter. If you are frying food and something catches fire, do not try to extinguish it using water to avoid the fire from spreading.
A common misconception is that the higher the temperature, the better your food will cook. However, you don’t have to turn the oven top or stove up for the food to cook properly. Setting your appliances to high temperatures is risky, even if you are in a hurry and want to get all the cooking done fast. With food combustion being the leading cause of kitchen fires, you should always ensure the flame doesn’t rise over the top of the pan or pot. Cooking requires patience, and high temperatures create the perfect recipes for disaster.
Before stepping into the kitchen to prepare food, make sure the material you’re wearing is not flammable when in contact with a burner. Clothing ignitions are quite rare, but they are responsible for quite a significant number of fire-related injuries and deaths. Fabric such as linen and cotton catch fire quickly, but nylon, polyester, and spandex won’t burst into flames. However, the most appropriate and safe material to wear in the kitchen is a fire-retardant apron or form-fitting clothes.
Contact us at The Remediation Team if an uncontrollable kitchen fire starts in your home. We leverage state-of-the-art tools and equipment to enhance the quality of fire damage restoration and prevent irreversible damage. Schedule a consultation today and learn more about keeping your home and loved ones safe.