Every year at least seven thousand people are injured in kitchen fires. Two-third of domestic fires are due to carelessness done while cooking. The kitchen is on the top among the causes of household fires. The sad thing is that the reasons for kitchen fires are always similar, across the country. The identification of these causes is a must as that will decrease the chances of fire in kitchen greatly.
Firstly the surroundings of the kitchen must be made safe to cook in. Things must be organized on the kitchen countertop and shouldn’t be scattered. Things such as microwave, blender, food processor, cooker, and many other electrical instruments are arranged on the countertop. Firstly, the electrical leads must be kept away from the electrical appliances and from trailing over. Also water should be kept away from the electrical lead as that can lead to electric sparks. Plant pots are also a common sight in kitchens. They should far away from the electrical instruments. In fact, anything wet must not be place near the electrical appliances. Cloths and tea towels shouldn’t be hung on the cooker or kept on the microwave. The hob, grill and the oven must be kept cleaned. The build up of food bits and fat are very vulnerable to catch fire.
No metallic crockery must be placed inside the microwave because if by mistake they get heated up, they can start a fire. Some people even try to dry clothes in microwave, which is a very dangerous act. Sometimes there is a chance of placing the toaster near the curtains. This is also very risky. Free flowing curtains are a bad idea in the kitchen. The toaster must also be cleaned regularly.
The sockets must not be overloaded. The thumb rule is to have only one plug per socket. This rule is firm in case of electrical appliances which take high power to function. Extensions running across the kitchen floor can wear out with respect to time, so they are better avoided. Electrical appliances which are used regularly and which run on high speeds should be serviced regularly, at least once a year. There can be chances of leaking in blender, food processor and electrical kettle. This is very serious and must be repaired immediately. All the appliances should be turned off when leaving the kitchen. They shouldn’t be left running at night, like washing machine or dishwasher. If you receive a call while cooking, remove the pan from the burner and then attend the phone because they are the easiest things to forget. This is the reason why many people worry about burning pans and running machines after leaving home. So it is better to handle the situation at the right time. No distraction must be encouraged while in kitchen.
The saucepan handles must not stick out, otherwise anybody walking near by can tip off the pan along with its hot contents. The pan must not be full more than one-third. When using deep fat fryer it is good to use thermostatically. Chip pan fires are the reason of one-fifth of fire accidents. Every day nearly twenty people are injured or killed to deep fat fry cooking.
If the kitchen is equipped with gas cooker, ample ventilation must be provided. The ventilation must be working properly and must not be blocked. This can be helpful in case of gas leak. Also, fitting a smoke alarm, which has a hush button, can be very helpful in case of fire emergencies. The hush button can be pressed to silence the instrument incase of false alarm. If the hush button is missing, many people are tempted to take the battery out of the smoke alarm in case of false alarm and will forget to put it back. If the alarm keeps on going off again and again, place it a little away from the stove. Another good investments are fire extinguisher and fire blanket. They should be placed strategically so that they are easily reachable.
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