Kitchens are the hearts of the home. They’re the place where morning coffee is brewed, family meals are prepared and birthday cakes and holiday cookies are baked. Kitchens are also the place where half of all house fires that require fire restoration start. In order to make sure that all your kitchen memories are happy ones, it’s important to take steps to fireproof your kitchen to keep your family safe and prevent fire damage to your home. It only takes a few minutes, and an ounce of prevention now can save you loads of trouble and stress with fire restoration down the line.
Here are our top twelves tips for fireproofing your kitchen.
- Extinguishers should be handy, but not too close. Your fire extinguisher needs to be near, but not right next to the stove. If a fire starts on your stovetop, the area adjacent to the stove may be impossible to access. Decide on a location that’s readily accessible from all areas of the kitchen (such as a center island) and make sure everyone in the family knows its location. Also, take a moment to familiarize all family members on what to do in the case of a fire, storm or other emergency. Every family should have an emergency preparedness plan.
- Get familiar with your extinguisher. Make sure you know how to use your extinguisher, and check it monthly. Take a moment now to familiarize yourself with the instructions, and check the nozzle, pressure and seal on a regular basis.
- Install a smoke detector just outside your kitchen. Smoke detectors should be installed just outside the kitchen. Placing them inside the kitchen could cause some false alarms, but it needs to be near enough to detect smoke quickly.
- Keep your stovetop and oven clean. Accumulated grease around your burners or on the bottom of your oven can easily cause a kitchen fire that will require fire restoration. Clean them both regularly, especially after frying or preparing items that have splattered or spilled.
- Store cleaning supplies away from your stove. Yes, you need to keep your stove clean, but it’s not a good idea to keep cleaning supplies next to it. They’re chemicals, which means they’re flammable.
- Don’t hang dish towels and oven mitts near the stove. Also, don’t place them on the countertop next to the stove while you’re cooking. The same is true for paper towels and napkins. Even wooden utensils can fuel a flame if a kitchen fire breaks out, causing a small stovetop fire to turn into a kitchen fire that will result in a need for fire and smoke restoration.
- Register your appliances. This is the best way to keep abreast of appliance recalls. If one of your appliances has a safety issue, you’ll be the first to know.
- Avoid installing cabinets above your stove. There are two reasons for this. First of all, grease can accumulate on the underside of the cabinets over your stove if there’s no exhaust fan or hood. Secondly, if you do have cabinets over your gas stove, don’t store anything in there that you might need while cooking, as reaching over an open flame could catch your clothing on fire.
- Check your kitchen wiring. If you find yourself routinely blowing a fuse or getting shocked when you use a particular appliance, call an electrician to get your wiring checked immediately. Older homes can be particularly problematic with faulty kitchen wiring.
- Never leave the house with the stove or oven on. While it might feel safe to run a quick errand with a pot simmering on low, there should always be someone home anytime the oven or stove is on. A small fire when no one is home can quickly escalate into a large kitchen fire that will require fire restoration.
- Unplug small appliances when they’re not in use. Small appliances have a greater chance of shorting out if there’s a power surge. As a bonus, you’ll also save money on your electric bill.
- Dress the part when you cook. Professional chefs wear chefs’ coats and aprons for a reason. They not only protect their street clothes, but they’re also tailored to keep sleeves and hems from getting anywhere near the cooking surface. Never cook in loose or flowing clothing.
Don’t let another day go by without implementing some or all of these kitchen fireproofing tips in your home. Your kitchen should always be a place where only happy memories are made and taking a few minutes to make sure it’s safe will ensure that’s always true.
While we hope that you never need our fire restoration services, we know the stress and mess that can be caused by fire damage. It’s good to know that the team of certified and trained fire restoration experts at Hays + Sons are just a phone call away, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With 140 employees, 120 vehicles, and eight separate locations, Hays + Sons has you covered.