Most of the time, house fires start in kitchens because cooking is one of the top causes of house fires. In the kitchen, you can find electrical appliances that give off heat and fire, such as microwave ovens, toasters, and stoves. Because of this, individuals must take extra precautions when preparing food using these appliances.
Kitchen fires begin when a combustible item touches a heat source. For example, when cooking oils or fats get in contact with heated surfaces, or when a person does other things when cooking and eventually forgets what she was cooking. When the oil used for cooking is at such a high temperature, the oil boils, produce smoke, and catch fire eventually. There are ways to recover from a home kitchen fire.
First, do not be negligent while cooking. Keep laser focus during food preparation. Avoid watching the TV, using your cellphone, or leaving the kitchen to do other things. Once distracted, it increases the chance of forgetting, and then smoke will suddenly fill the kitchen and fire will begin.
Keep a close distance to the kitchen or the appliance when cooking. If there is an important thing that comes up, then ask someone to watch over the food or cook on your behalf.
Second, ensure that flammable items are placed far from heat sources. Do not place rags, potholders, oven mitts, or curtains near cooking appliances.
They must be secured somewhere they cannot catch fire. Oil or grease must also be secured away from heat sources.
Third, if you can afford it, place a smoke alarm system in your kitchen so that as soon as the fire begins, residents will be immediately alerted.
Fourth, have a fire extinguisher that is easily accessible. Of course, secure it somewhere away from heat sources.
When your oven catches flams, turn it off and the fire will eventually die out. Open your window for the smoke to go out, and with extra care, take out the heated pan. If your pan catches fire, place the lid on top of the pan so that there would be no chance for the flame to become bigger due to oxygen. Switch off the stove and don’t come in contact with it to prevent burns on your skin.
In case the unfortunate happens, here is what you should do in the kitchen fire aftermath.
- Document everything by taking pictures so that you can show some evidence to the insurance company and they can file claims that is equivalent to the damages.
- Inform your insurance agent or company as soon as possible so that necessary measures can be immediately done.
- Allow the company or agent to assess the damage so that they can decide on your claims. Do not clean up any damage yet.
Recovering from such an incident is both stressful and burdensome. But it is necessary to do kitchen restoration after everything to ensure that soot and smoke particles will not pose health concerns.
The following guidelines are needed when restoring your kitchen after the incident.
- Ventilate the kitchen by opening the windows and doors.
- Don safety gears when restoring the kitchen.
- Dispose grimy food items.
- Clean metallic surfaces with a rag.
- If you have air filters, replace them.
- When you wash the dishes when all is cleared, use a dishwashing detergent. You can also do the first rinse with bleach and then the second rinse, with flowing water.
- Do not immediately use the stove. Make sure it is cleared of any debris and soot. If it needs replacement, then replace it.
As for other appliances, they are safe to use after cleaning thoroughly and free from damages. There is no need to replace appliances in this case. But if there are damages like burned wires or cracks in the glass, then you might consider replacement.