Preventing Kitchen Fires in Your Home

By HomeAdvisor

Updated October 31, 2019

Firefighter putting out a large kitchen fire coming from stove

The kitchen is one of the most versatile rooms in your home. It is the hub where families congregate for holidays, spend time cooking meals together, and talk about daily life. It is where all of the prep work for an exciting night of entertaining guests begins, where a new family recipe is born, and where we spend hours deep in discussion with loved ones.

Because of all this activity and the fixtures and appliances inside, the heart of the house can also be the most dangerous room in it. More than half of all house fires start in the kitchen. Adapting safe cooking practices, acting quickly during an actual emergency, and learning about general home fire safety can help you to become better prepared and to keep your family safe in the event that tragedy strikes.

Cooking Safely

  • Be vigilant! Do not cook if you are distracted or tired or if you have consumed alcohol.
  • Never leave the stove unattended while frying, broiling, grilling, or boiling food.
  • Check food that is simmering, baking, or roasting often, and use a timer to avoid overcooking.
  • Keep flammable items away from the stove top, including loose clothing, oven mitts, kitchen towels, cooking utensils, and discarded food packaging.
  • Keep young children and pets at least three feet away from the stove and other areas where food is prepared.
  • Check to make sure items are microwave-safe.

Take Action

  • Learn appropriate ways to combat both grease and oven fires in the event that one should occur.
  • If there’s a fire that you can’t handle, leave the area and close doors behind you as you exit.
  • Use an evacuation plan to get yourself and other family members to safety.
  • Call 911 or your local emergency number once outside and at your meeting area.
  • Alert rescuers to any potential burns or smoke inhalation that may have occurred.
  • Never go back into a burning building.

General Home Fire Safety

The thought of a potential blaze in your house may be frightening, but there are many steps you can take to prevent fires and keep your family safe in the event that one should occur. Recognizing potential hazards, understanding preventative measures, and being aware of elements that may increase the risk of a fire are all ways you can help to keep your household safe. Prevention and knowledge are the best tools we have to fight fires before they even start.

  • Home Fire Safety Tips: Check out the Red Cross’s top tips for fire safety practices in the home.
  • All About Home Fires: Use these safety tips from prevention to aftermath to be prepared for not only house fires but also many other types of disasters and threats.
  • Fire Prevention: Understand ways to prevent fires before they ignite to better prepare yourself and your family before an incident occurs.
  • Smoke Detectors: Learn about different types of smoke detectors, how to use them correctly, and their roles in keeping your loved ones safe.
  • Fire Extinguishers: Fire extinguishers can assist us in stopping house fires before they get out of control. Read about extinguishers here to better understand how and when to use them.
  • Electrical Fire Safety: Electrical malfunctions are the cause of many house fires each year. Learn how to safely use the electrical items in your everyday life and decrease the chances of this type of disaster occurring.
  • Fireplaces and Wood Stoves: A fireplace or wood stove can be a great source of warmth when used properly. Check out these tips to prevent house fires related to their use.
  • Appliance Fire Safety Tips: Preventing fires can be easy when you understand the risks that your appliances may pose. Learn how to use them as safely as possible to decrease the chance that one will begin a blaze.
  • Smoking and Fires: Smoking cigarettes remains one of the leading causes of fatal house fires. Check out tips for smokers to ensure that a cigarette doesn’t cost you your life.
  • Winter Fire Safety: Learn about safe heating practices to stay both warm and safe on cold nights.
  • Grill Fire Safety Tips: Find out about safety issues related to grilling and the steps you can take to remain safe while cooking your favorite summer foods.
  • Holiday Fire Risks: The holidays can be stressful, but with these holiday-related tips, you can relax as you spend time with your family safely.
  • Portable Generator Safety: Read tips from the NFPA about how to safely use a portable generator at your home.

What to Expect After a Fire

The consequences of a house fire and cost to repair fire and smoke damage can surprise you, giving new importance to preventing them in the first place. After a fire, you need to:

  1. Hire a disaster recovery service to safely inspect, assess and repair your home while working with your insurance company to file the paperwork and stay on budget. They can often complete more than one of the tasks below in the process.
  2. Repair water damage that might have occurred while the fire was being put out.
  3. Clean up soot, get rid of fire-damaged belongings and find a fire restoration service near you to assess the extent of the damage.
  4. Clean air ducts and vents as well as filters on your furnace or air conditioning systems.
  5. Get rid of smoke damage by cleaning and painting walls and deodorizing any materials that hold the smell.
  6. Replacing or repairing alarm systems such as detectors or, if preferred, installing security systems with additional features to prevent them in the future.

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