In 2012 the National Fire Protection Agency reported 365,000 residential fires that resulted in 2,380 deaths and 12,875 injuries. Kitchen fires are a big problem with peaks in fire incidents occurring during the holiday season. It is important to follow strict fire and burn safety protocols in kitchens during meal preparations at home and when visiting friends or relatives to prevent tragedy.
The top consideration is a home security system that includes fire, smoke and carbon monoxide detection. The system should include round-the-clock fire alarm monitoring. This way, in the event of a fire, the proper authorities will automatically be contacted. In addition to fire detection, large kitchen fire extinguishers should be securely mounted away from the stove to prevent approaching a fire to get to an extinguisher. The smallest fire extinguishers are usually inadequate for extinguishing kitchen fires.
Make sure that all appliances that create heat are plugged into proper outlets. Kitchen outlets are likely to be connected together on one circuit. It is easy to overload a circuit by running several appliances at once on one circuit. This is especially true of appliances that create heat due to their high electrical current usage.
Do not use extension cords with kitchen appliances. Though the cord size of the extension cord may look similar to the cord on an appliance, the amperage rating is what matters. It is better to relocate an appliance rather than using an extension cord that does not have the proper amperage rating. Longer cord runs create more electrical resistance, which creates heat. Also, long cords on appliances are trip hazards, and the cords are also inviting for children to pull.
A timely article from the Red Cross speaks of how kitchens are the one room in the house where more fires occur, and how cooking is the source of most of those fires. Following cooking safety rules can prevent a home from becoming a statistic.
Dress properly for all cooking tasks. It may be convenient to start the Thanksgiving dinner preparations while wearing pajamas and a robe, but it is dangerous. People have set themselves on fire due to wearing loose clothing. Also, natural fabrics such as 100 percent cotton will not melt and stick to skin if there is an accident.
Keep work spaces clean and clutter free. Keep holiday decorations to a minimum in the kitchen. Most decorations are actually flammable and not suited for use around cooking appliances. Also, keep the crowding in the kitchen to a minimum to help reduce the likelihood of accidents with hot pots, pans and food during the hectic holiday meal preparation. Do not let kids or pets get underfoot while cooking. It is easy to trip over a dog, cat or child on the floor.
Never leave the kitchen while food is cooking. Always have someone in there keeping watch. Make a checklist to go over before shutting down the kitchen for the night or leaving the house for other festivities. Make sure the list includes checking to make sure appliances such as the stove and oven are turned off and other appliances are unplugged.
A home security system that includes professional fire alarm monitoring is an affordable must-have in today’s homes. Though everyone is aware of the rudimentary rules of fire safety, there are still over 365,000 house fires per year. It is easy to be distracted while a pan overheats on the stove. A home security system that automatically calls for help can be a real lifesaver. Fire safety when cooking holiday meals at home should be taken seriously by everyone, but it is still good to have the extra security of a monitored alarm system.