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Whether you’re having family over for Thanksgiving, hosting holiday parties, or baking Christmas cookies, one thing is certain: Your kitchen will be busy this season. Before you get started, it’s important to understand kitchen fire safety so you can prevent fires and know what to do if one occurs. Fortunately, SCANA Energy is here to help. We’ve got tips for fire safety in the kitchen to ensure the only disaster is a botched recipe.
A clean kitchen is a safe kitchen. An important natural gas oven safety tip is to keep both the range and stove clean. You should also clean as you go, especially grease and oil spills. Even small messes like a bit of grease or stray crumbs can lead to kitchen fires.
While it may be tempting to step away and take care of other tasks while something cooks, that can be dangerous. In fact, unattended equipment is the leading cause of ignition in cooking fires. If cooking on the stove, stay close to the pan. If you do leave the room, turn the burner off until you return.
Keeping an eye on your food also allows you to see the first signs of the heat getting too high. If you see smoke or the oil/grease starts to boil, turn the burner off (and remove the pan from heat if using an electric range).
Everything in Its Place
Placement of objects can make a big difference when it comes to kitchen fire safety. Make sure to keep anything that can catch fire (i.e. paper towels, food packaging, curtains, etc.) away from your stove. Also keep children and pets at least 3 feet from hot appliances to avoid any accidents.
While cooking, ensure pot and pan handles are all turned in. A handle sticking outside of the stove can easily be bumped or caught on something; an incident that can result in fire.
Even the placement of your clothes can affect fire safety in the kitchen. Loose fitting clothing and sleeves can catch fire if they come in contact with a natural gas flame or electric burner. Wear clothes that stay close to your body and roll up your sleeves whenever you’re operating your kitchen range.
How to Put Out Kitchen Fires
Even if you follow all of our kitchen safety tips above, a cooking fire could still occur. There are different methods required for each type of cooking fire:
Grease Fire – When cooking with grease on the stove, keep a lid or baking pan nearby. In case of fire, cover the pan, turn off the heat, and leave it until the fire has gone out and the pan has cooled.
Oven/Microwave Fire – If an item in your conventional or microwave oven starts fire, try to keep it contained. Close the door and turn off the appliance, then wait for the fire to go out.
Uncontained Fire – Always keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. If a fire starts to spread and you can safely get to your extinguisher, use it according to manufacturer instructions.
If a kitchen fire occurs, your safety comes first. If you don’t feel comfortable with these methods, or the fire doesn’t go out after your actions, have everyone leave the building and call 911 immediately.
We hope all of your kitchen ventures go smoothly this holiday season. However, if anything goes awry, you have these kitchen fire safety tips to protect you and your family.
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