Fire safety is a critical issue which needs to be handled properly. Yearly lakhs of people get injured and some people have deaths due to a kitchen fire. The kitchen is the prime area where the fire originates as it has much electrical equipment working. Most of the fires in kitchen occur due to negligence like leaving the stove unattended for a long time, not turning off electrical equipment’s like microwave, oven, heater etc. So to prevent kitchen fire use kitchen appliances with care and service them properly to avoid disaster. In this article, you will get to know some of the ways to avoid kitchen fire.
Some tips to use kitchen appliances safety
1) Follow the user guide or manual
Read the procedures mentioned in the manual and follow them. There are safety precautions and guide list to use the appliances. Follow them strictly. If any trouble occurs while using the appliance then immediately call helpline number mentioned on the appliance box.
2) Avoid extension cord or a 3 pin socket
Do not use an extension cord to power the supply, use a direct socket for electric appliances. If you use an extension cord or 3 pin plug chances are there that t these devices cant handle load and eventually may catch fire.
3) Appliance Check
Check if the wires of the appliances are working properly. If they are worn out then replace them immediately. Do not take a risk, if you use worn out wire it will spread fire causing harm to appliances and the individual. Unplugged the appliances when not in use
Procedure to check the appliance Wire
Firstly Unplug the appliance you need to check. Take a multimeter and keep the settings on lowest for the resistance. Attach clips to the multimeter. For a small appliance, you need to check the electrical plug and for big appliances like a refrigerator or microwave, you need to remove the part you want to test. Then fix the clip to the two ends of the terminal. Turn the device knob or press its button. Read the multimeter, lower ohms indicates that the appliance is good, a reading of (0.L) Infinity or reading greater than 120 ohms detects that the device is defective.
4) Keep the electrical appliances free from food debris.
Keep the kitchen tops and counter clean. If the food ingredients come in contact with appliances when the appliance is switch on it may catch fire. To prevent this keep the kitchen counter clean and clean all the appliances wire before switching them on.
5) Service the kitchen appliances
If the electronics appliances are under warranty then service them in 3 to 6 months. If there is any breakage in wire or in the part of the appliances replace them immediately. Do not use any appliances whose wire or any electrical part is not in working condition.
6) Keep the kitchen platform clear
Prevent spillovers on kitchen platform as they can catch the fire. Avoid overfilling of pans, cookers etc. to prevent this. If you want to light a candle or burner flame avoid any plastic materials near the flame as it can catch fire. Do not put metal vessels in the microwave as they can burst.
7) Do not use metal cookware in the microwave
Avoid using metal in the microwave as it can catch fire. Make use of cookware marked as 'microwave-safe' for microwave use. Set the time, temperature and mode required for cooking in microwave accurately. Avoid leaving the microwave unattended for a long time.
To prevent the excess fire use some of this methods:
1) Smoke detectors
Install smoke detectors in the kitchen. It will detect fire automatically and will raise the alarm. For more convenience install smoke detectors in all rooms for more safety. Install Smoke detectors between 5 to 10 feet from the burner on the ceiling. You can also place smoke detectors on the escape path. To install smoke detectors many factors such as the size of the kitchen, placement of the kitchen, the number of detectors to be installed need to be considered.
2) Use the fire extinguisher
Make use of a fire extinguisher when there is fire. Install this fire extinguisher in the cabinet beside so that it can be quickly accessible. You can also install the extinguisher on the escape path so that is available easily. Do not keep it near the gas stove or near the heating appliances like oven, microwave. Remember some of the safety precautions like stand at least 4 feet away while using the fire extinguisher, Use fire extinguisher at the substance where the fire is originated not in flames. Fire extinguishers should be carefully used as if the extinguisher is disposable the nit needs to be replaced after one or two use. Extinguisher which is portable needs to be replaced within three to four months. For additional safety always check the pressure of the extinguisher once in six months.
3) Avoid the combination of water and grease
Avoid water on a grease fire as it can catch the fire quickly. Grease fire occurs when cooking oil is heated too much. You can also make use of a chemical fire extinguisher. For the safety use the appropriate pan for cooking right type of food. Make use of a metal lid if the pan catches fire. Stay in the kitchen if you are heating the cooking oil so that it won’t get overcooked. If the cooking pan catches fire, immediately turn off the gas stove. Keep combustible substances like paper, napkin plastic materials away from the stove as it can increase grease fire.
4) Unplug the appliance wire
When the appliance is not in use unplug the wire of that appliance. Chances are that if the appliance is kept on for a long time even though it is not in use it may catch fire, so as to prevent this unplug the power cord. Do not plug microwave oven, fridge, oven in one circuit as it may lead to overload and eventually power trip. Install the circuit breaker if there are more electrical devices in the kitchen. Another important aspect is that see if there is any cut in the appliance wire if you found it then replace it do not keep it open as it can cause a short circuit.
5) Watch the food you are cooking
If the food is unattended for a long time then due to high-temperature major fire could break out. To avoid this, see that the burner of the stoves is turned-off when cooking is over. Use proper cooking pans according to the need. Always keep the kitchen appliances free from food particles as it can catch fire. If any electronic device like microwave catches fire then unplug it and then use the extinguisher to curb the fire.
6) Keep flammable objects away from gas stoves or burner.
Common cooking products to catch fire includes
- Cooking oil
So while cooking these ingredients see to it that frying pan is not very hot or otherwise pour this food item and then ignite the stove. Other kitchens accessories that catch fire include
- kitchen apron
- Plastic cookware etc.
Keep kitchen accessories like apron cookware, napkins at proper place or in the stand to avoid fire contact.
7) Allow grease to cool down
Do not pour hot cooking grease directly to the trash. Allow it to cool. If hot grease is poured into trash directly it will catch flames and eventually major fire could break out.
Personal safety tips to prevent a kitchen fire.
- Do not leave the burner unattended.
- Roll your shirt sleeves before lighting the burner or stove.
- Keep children and pets away from the burner.
- Have a fire escape plan ready when the fire reaches out of control.
- Always check the kitchen when going to bed.
- Stay in the kitchen when frying, boiling or grilling the food.
Common causes of kitchen Fire & measures to avoid it.
1) The high temperature of the pan
If the food or food oil is overcooked it results in fire flames causing the kitchen fire. So to avoid it do not overcook the food or leave the kitchen unattended for a long time. Ignition temperature for cooking oil is 370 to 435 Celsius. Do not exceed that temperature mark. Use the metal lid to curb the fire or baking soda.
Avoid use of plastic lid as it can melt in a kitchen fire causing more fire to spread.
2) Not staying alert
Cooking early in the morning or late night can be dangerous as one can be more tired at that time. To avoid the kitchen fire stay alert. Do not consume alcohol while cooking the food as this may lead to unconsciousness and eventually may cause a fire hazard.
3) Keep sprinklers in the proper position.
The kitchen is the place where the equipment is moved around according to the need and requirement. If the burner is moved to another place then adjust the position of the sprinkler as well. If the position of the sprinkler is not changed then adjust it according to the position of the burner.
4) No maintenance of appliances
If the kitchen appliances like microwave oven, refrigerator are not properly serviced it may lead to short circuit and eventually fire breakout. To avoid it service the appliances regularly with the trained personnel.
5) Messy Kitchens
When the grease remains of the kitchen are not cleaned properly the layers of the grease gets saturated and piled up. If it comes to contact with fire then grease catches fire and major fire can break down. To avoid this clan your kitchen at regular intervals.
6) Kitchen Ventilation
Kitchens have ventilation equipment to give fresh air in the kitchen. If the ventilation duct is not clean properly debris may get saturated. If the temperature of the kitchen gets increased the debris may catch the fire. It can result in massive fire breakdown. To avoid it clean the ventilation fan and ducting path of the kitchen regularly.