The holiday season is almost here, and it is the ideal time
to get the family together and spend quality time with loved ones. Additionally,
this is also the season of busy kitchens, festive lights, and electric lights. While
all these things bring a feeling of joy and excitement for the entire family,
they can also be potential fire hazards.
In fact, according to the National Fire Protection
Association (NFPA), the US fire departments tend to respond to the most fires
during the holiday season with most of them originating in the kitchen. For
this reason, fire safety in the kitchen should always be a priority for all
home cooks and chefs in order to preserve the joy of cooking.
The following are some kitchen fire safety tips that can
help you stay on top of things and prevent unnecessary fires in your home this
Never Leave Your Cooking Unattended
If your cooking apron or chef hat is on, it basically means
that you won’t be part of every conversation happening in the living room, and
you shouldn’t drop what you’re doing in the kitchen to answer to every request.
You need to ensure that you stay in the kitchen when you’re cooking so that you
can respond quickly to anything that might go wrong.
If you’re frying, broiling or boiling, simmering, baking, or
even roasting food on the stovetop, you need to stay put in the kitchen. This
way, you’ll be able to check the food regularly and ensure that it does not end
up starting a fire.
It is recommended that you use a timer at all times to
remind you that you’re cooking and ensure that the food on the stovetop doesn’t
stay there for too long and end up burning. If you’re going to leave the
kitchen even for a short while, ensure that you turn everything off or have
someone monitor the oven or stove while you’re away.
Keep the Kitchen a ‘Children-Free
During the holiday season, you need to keep children from
all potential fire hazards such as ovens or stoves where they could easily get
burned. It is recommended that you keep all children at least three feet from
stoves and ovens while the kitchen is busy. It’s even better to plan a fun
activity for them and keep them away from the kitchen completely while the
adults continue cooking.
Additionally, you need to keep the children away from hot
liquids, foods, oils, and candles as they can also lead to serious burns.
Remember, small children don’t know how to use matches and lighters properly.
Therefore, you need to keep them out of reach so that children don’t get hold
Keep All Flammable Items Away From
As careful as you might be during this holiday season, it’s
very easy to forget about moving that dishcloth, food package, wooden utensil,
curtains, or even towels away from the stovetop and suddenly watch them go up
in flames. When cooking this holiday season, keep all flammable items far away
from the stove or oven to ensure that you cook safely.
If you have long hair, it’s best that you tie it back while
cooking. Also, ensure that you avoid loose clothing as they can easily catch
fire without your knowledge. It’s better to wear a short-sleeve shirt or even
roll up your sleeves while cooking.
Save the Drinks for When You’re Done
During the holiday season, it’s usually the best time to
indulge in a drink or two. While it’s great to do this, you need to understand
that it compromises your safety in the kitchen. While cooking, you want to keep
your head clear and remain focused to avoid any accidents.
On the other hand, when you’ve had a drink or two, it can be
quite difficult to remain attentive to what you’re cooking or even react to any
potential dangers that might arise. In this case, it’s best to stay out of the
kitchen until this feeling passes.
Ensure That the Smoke Alarms Are
Before you start cooking this holiday, it’s important that
you check your smoke alarms to ensure that they’re working properly. You can
test them by simply pushing the test button. In case your smoke alarms require
new batteries, ensure that you replace them before the cooking starts.
This way, they will be ready to go if anything happens.
Having a working smoke alarm is important because it will alert you immediately
when there is a fire so that you can rush your family to safety.
However, you need to have your smoke alarms installed at
least ten feet away from your cooking appliances. This is because if they’re
too close to the stovetop or oven, even small amounts of smoke can trigger the
Keep a Lid Nearby at All Times
When cooking this holiday, ensure that you keep a lid nearby
at all times to help you smother grease fires. If a grease fire occurs, slide
the lid over the pan or pot and then turn off the stove. You need to leave the
container covered until it has totally cooled. You should never use water to
put out a grease fire as it could easily ignite nearby surfaces.
Turn Off Everything Once You’re Done
When you’re done cooking, that rush of relief can have you
forgetting to turn off the heat source which can easily lead to a fire
disaster. There it’s best to double-check and ensure that you’ve turned off the
stove, burner, oven, or toaster before you serve up the food.
Keep a Fire Extinguisher in the
During the holiday season, you should always keep your fire
extinguisher within 30 feet so that it is easily accessible in the event of a
fire. However, ensure that you don’t install your fire extinguisher near the
heat source, where it can easily be blocked by smoke and fire. In case a fire
breaks out and you’re in doubt, evacuate your family and call 911.
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