Here’s some sobering facts from the National Fire Prevention Association: Between 2005-2009, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 240 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of 13 deaths, 27 injuries, and $16.7 million in direct property damage annually. That’s a lot of unnecessary death, injury and damage for what is supposed to be a joyful season.
Kitchen fires rarely stay contained in the kitchen, and can grow quickly from a small area to encompassing the entire room, if not spread to the rest of the house. Fire Prevention Week is coming up (October 9-15), so we at Paul Davis Inland Empire would like to pass along some tips for fire safety in the kitchen.
The holidays are coming up, and the kitchen becomes the busiest place in the house, with recipes new and old being transformed into reality. One minute away from the stove and that hastily placed pot holder or plastic spoon could catch on fire! Here’s a video from CBS News that shows how quickly a kitchen fire can escalate into something uncontrollable.
More than 4,000 Americans die each year in fires, and more than 20,000 are injured—and more significantly, cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S.! It is also the leading cause of injuries, and causes over $900 million in damage, so follow these tips below this holiday season—and every other day of the year.
- This one should already be checked off the list, and shame on you if you don’t. We know changing the batteries on a smoke alarm is annoying, but if it can save your life…? Consider installing one of the new 10-year lithium battery-powered smoke alarms, which is sealed so it cannot be tampered with or opened. Great new product!
- Never leave food cooking on the stove unattended—fire can start in just seconds and spread before you can keep it contained.
- Double-check the kitchen before you leave the house or go to bed. Make sure all small appliances are turned off, or better yet, unplugged.
- Always wear either short or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking.
- Don’t cook if you’re under the influence of alcohol, taking medication that causes drowsiness, or are overly tired. This can cause not just fires, but injuries with knives, steam and other kitchen implements.
- Never use the stovetop or oven to heat your home.
- Keep towels, pot holders and curtains away from flames and heating elements.
- Clean cooking surfaces regularly; grease can build up and ignite more easily than you imagine.
- Heat oil gradually to prevent burns from spatters.
- Use ONLY baking soda or a fire extinguisher, if a fire breaks out during cooking. You can also use a pan lid to smother the fire. NEVER throw water on a cooking fire!
- Don’t try to move or carry a pan that contains hot grease, and definitely don’t when it’s on fire. Although this may be your first instinct, it often results in spreading the fire and burns to the person carrying the pan.
- Don’t hesitate to call the fire department! Even if you continue to put out the fire with baking soda or a fire extinguisher, even small fires can easily rage out of control in seconds.
Remember: safety first. Make sure every person is out of the house before anything else, even calling 911. If you have fire damage, call us right away on (877) 732-8471 so we can get your life back to normal as quickly as possible. At Paul Davis Restoration, Inland Empire, we pride ourselves on performance, integrity and responsibility—you’ll be in good hands with us!