Home Fire Safety
Category : Fire Safety
Kitchen fires start when your attention stops
CFA and MFB are warning residents to pay attention in the kitchen to avoid house fires.
Thirty per cent of the 1245 house fires CFA and MFB attended last year began in the kitchen – many resulting in serious property damage and some even in death or serious injury.
In CFA’s Region 8, which includes Hastings, there were 215 fires last year which began in the kitchen. Many kitchen fires could be easily avoided by paying closer attention when cooking. More house fires start in kitchens than in any other room of the house, even though kitchen fires are often easy to avoid.
People should never leave cooking unattended and should be especially careful when cooking with oil or fat.
Fat or cooking oil can reach a temperature where it ignites; so it is important that you are always watching it. Leaving cooking unattended, even for a few moments, is one of the most common causes of house fires, despite being so easily preventable.
It’s important that if a cooking fire does starts, not to throw water on it. Throwing water can spread the fire and flaming oil onto you or your family. The flames need to be smothered in order to stop the blaze.
Every home should have basic firefighting equipment on hand including a small fire extinguisher and a fire blanket. It’s a good idea to keep these in the kitchen, as this is where most house fires start.
To prevent kitchen fires:
- Never leave cooking unattended
- Turn pot handles away from the stove edge
- Keep stoves free of grease and fat build-up
- Hang tea-towels away from the stove
- Wear tight-fitting sleeves when cooking
- Ensure the exhaust fan above the stove is clean and free of grease and fat build-up
- Have a fire blanket and extinguisher in the kitchen.
- Ensure there is working smoke alarm (test it monthly by pushing the test button with a broom handle to make sure it beeps), have a fire escape plan in place and practise it regularly.