Top Causes of Kitchen Fires at Home
The majority of fires that occur in the home start in the kitchen. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are more than 350,000 home fires each year in the U.S., leading to more than 2,500 deaths and $7.2 billion in direct property damage. In addition to this, cooking presents the highest risk for a home fire, with around 50% of home fires starting in the kitchen. Tragically, major holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, Easter, and Christmas Eve are some of the peak days for home fires, when more cooking than usual takes place in the home. Even though accidents do happen, by knowing the most common causes of kitchen fires, you can learn the best ways to prevent them.
Here are the top causes of kitchen fires in the home:
While all kitchen appliances can all present themselves as fire hazards, the most common place for a fire to start in the home is on a stove top. When cooking on the stove top, always be sure to stay alert and do not leave any food unattended.
Additionally, it is important keep your kitchen appliances well-maintained. A faulty appliance can possibly result in overheating or create sparks, which could be the start of an electrical fire. As a general rule, after 10 years of use your appliances should be inspected to check for any potential hazards.
Extreme Cooking Temperatures
Attempting to cook your food at a temperate higher than recommended can lead to your food in flames. Even if you’re running short on time, do not attempt to set the oven temperate higher to cook food faster. If your food sets ablaze, this can have deadly consequences.
Flammable Objects in the Kitchen
Objects that can catch and spread present a major fire hazard in the kitchen. When cooking, you should ensure that there are no curtains, towel racks, hand towels, wooden utensils, fabric oven mitts and pot holders, or even paper towel dispensers too close to any burners that could ignite and spread any flames.
If you are cooking with oil, be sure to take extra safety precautions as oil can spread fires at an extreme rate. When using oil in a pan, only use enough to cover the bottom of the pan and, if you are deep-frying, try to use a controlled deep-fryer rather than oil in a pot.