Your kitchen is the heart of the home. Homework gets done, bills get paid, and pets get fed. So many great memories get made cooking in the kitchen- the smell of baking chocolate chip cookies, late night hot cocoa, leftover pizza for breakfast….
One of the household’s most basic and repeated tasks can also be one of the most dangerous. Kitchen fires are the most common types of household blazes; half of all residential fires start in the kitchen. Of these, most are triggered by cooking. According to nfpa.org, cooking equipment is responsible for 1 in 5 blazes and the leading cause of home fires. Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
Your stove and oven are two big potential fire sources; they generate heat with gas or electricity. Ranges or cook-tops are responsible for 58 percent of home cooking fires, ovens account for 16 percent. Grease is highly flammable, but so are paper, cloth, and wood–all often close to the cooking surfaces.
Many kitchen fires come from burned and scorched food in the pan. A dirty oven or stovetop with accumulated grease and residue is another fire safety hazard. Less than 1% of fires occur when the flame comes in contact with flammable material like your sleeve- but it can be very dangerous.
Although they are convenient, microwaves can be dangerous if you heat flammable aluminum foil, Styrofoam or certain plastic containers. Almost all foods can ‘catch fire’ when improperly heated in the microwave (for example 10 minutes instead of 1 minute.) Toasters and toaster ovens can gather crumbs and grease, sometimes causing a fire. Again, never leave these appliances unsupervised when in use.
Ovens can malfunction and start a fire, especially if they are old, not maintained properly or damaged in some way. Electric ovens have heating elements that can spark a blaze; gas models may develop leaks that can lead to explosions. When the switches and thermostats age, the oven may not turn off completely. Ensure that the appliance is serviced regularly, and immediately if the cooking temperature is erratic.
Of all the potential causes of an oven fire, this is perhaps the most avoidable; every year thousands of fires are triggered by greasy residue. A buildup of oils and other cooking byproducts, or even thick dust, can trigger an oven blaze. Clean your oven regularly, especially if you spill something or food boils over inside of it. Use only appropriate cleaning products. Check the internet for ideas using vinegar and baking soda for an eco-friendly option.
If your home suffers fire damage, contact the fire damage cleanup experts at ICON Property Rescue. House fires cause more damage than you’d expect- both obvious and hidden. In a crisis, get support from Covington’s fire damage cleanup and restoration experts.
When you have a kitchen fire in Covington, call ICON Property Rescue as soon as the flames have died. Soot and smoke are difficult for a homeowner to clean effectively; let ICON’s trained technicians use the proper equipment and products to remove and clean up all traces of any fire damage.