With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, your kitchen will most likely be filled with family and loved ones along with lots of holiday foods! While you may cook most days, your oven and stove top may be getting extra use during the holiday season. Cooking all the holiday foods such as turkeys, hams, cookies, and cakes will no doubt make your kitchen smell scrumptious, but there are some key pointers in keeping your family and loved ones safe during the holidays. Before you crank up the oven and stove top, you should review some common kitchen fire hazards that could ruin your holiday gathering, if not careful.
Below Are Some Common Kitchen Fire Hazards to Address Before the Holidays:
Before preparing lots of foods for the holidays, it is recommended you do a thorough cleaning of your oven and stove top. Grease and debris in the bottom of your oven can ignite and result in an oven fire. Fire is one of the top causes for homeowners claims and can cause significant home damage in a matter of minutes. Keep in mind that while you are cooking, you should continue to wipe down areas where grease may have splattered.
Handle with Care
When cooking on the stove top and in the oven, make sure you have oven mitts available for removing pots and pans from the stove top or oven. When/if frying items in your kitchen, make sure you use a grease guard to avoid oil/grease splatters that could result in a stove fire. Also, when cooking, it is recommended you wear your hair tied back to avoid a fire accident. Hair catching on fire is a common kitchen fire hazard that could wreck your family gathering.
Avoid Clutter Near the Stove Top
While it is important to have potholders close by to handle pots and pans safely, it is also vital to avoid clutter around the cook top. Having loose towels and paper items lying near a hot stove could result in a fire, which could spread quickly.
Invest in a Fire Extinguisher
If a kitchen fire does ensue, it is wise to have a fire extinguisher nearby to effectively and quickly put out the fire. Never throw or pour water on a grease fire in an effort to put it out. Use the fire extinguisher if there is one; however, if not you can also use a tight lid to place on the fire to smother it.
Routinely Check Your Smoke Alarms
It is essential to have all your smoke alarms in working order. A good plan to make sure your batteries are working is to make a habit of changing batteries on a regular basis, perhaps on Daylight Savings Day or the first of the year. It is key to have the peace of mind that if smoke or fire ensues, you can be alerted and take action immediately.
Practice Child and Animal Safety
If you have pets or children around, always make sure they don’t have access to hot stoves or ovens as they could get burned. Either set up safety gates or have other preventative ways to keep them out of the kitchen. Child safety locks, knobs and straps are available for purchase so that kids are unable to turn on stoves/ovens or open hot oven doors.
Holidays are meant to be shared with family and loved ones! Sharing food and conversation while making memories are what makes holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, special. By keeping your stove top and oven free from fire hazards, you are making sure your memories are good ones and not catastrophic ones that could happen if you don’t practice fire safety. Happy holidays to you all!