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5 Ways to Prevent Cooking Fires at Home

At home, cooking is the number one hazard. Number one! More fires occur in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home. That’s why it’s important to keep these easy safety measures in mind to help prevent fires throughout the year.


1. Clean Cooking Surfaces

Yes, you always want the kitchen to look good for company, but cleaning the kitchen can also help prevent cooking fires. Grease collects on cooking surfaces, which is particularly dangerous because grease can both start the fire and help the fire spread. Each piece of cooking equipment and every cooking surface needs to be properly maintained to prevent grease buildup.


2. Don’t Unplug the Smoke Detector

The National Fire Prevention Associations recommends one smoke detector on every floor and in every bedroom. But it’s the smoke detector in the kitchen that can be the biggest nuisance when you’re trying to cook dinner and something sets it off. Instead of unplugging the smoke detector, try installing one with a “hush” button that reduces the smoke detector’s sensitivity while you finish cooking.

Oh, and of course, make sure all the smoke detectors in your home are tested monthly and batteries are replaced twice a year.


3. Keep a Fire Extinguisher in the Kitchen

One pan of cooking oil can cause a lot of damage to your kitchen, or worse. That’s why buying a fire extinguisher should be at the top of your safety priorities. Generally, an ABC fire extinguisher should be effective for your needs. There are different sizes of fire extinguishers available and, obviously, the bigger ones can put out bigger fires, but make sure the extinguisher isn’t too heavy for you to use.


4. Set a Kitchen Timer

It’s always been pretty easy to set a kitchen timer, considering there’s one on the oven, but now smart phones have made it even easier. So, do it! All it takes is one forgetful moment and, before you know it, that delicious Tuscan chicken is up in smoke, along with the rest of your kitchen. Timers can also be handy reminders to turn off the stove or oven when you’re done cooking.


5. Never Leave Food Unattended

This is the most fundamental safety precaution when it comes to preventing kitchen fires, but it’s also the one that we tend to ignore most often. There’s always so much to do around the house that it’s tempting to multitask while cooking, but staying in the kitchen while food is cooking will allow you to properly respond in the case of an accident. Of course, this also means that you should never, ever leave the house while food is cooking!

Whether you’re looking for a fire extinguisher for your kitchen at home or an entire restaurant suppression system for a commercial kitchen, contact Hawkeye Fire & Safety. The professionally-trained technicians at Hawkeye Fire & Safety have been serving Eastern Iowa since 1979.