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Kitchen Fires, Causes and Best Practices.

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

A fire needs oxygen, heat, and fuel to begin, without these a fire will not ignite. To many of you, this is not a surprising list. In the same way, looking at this list, it should be no surprise that kitchen fires are the leading cause of house fires. After all, you’re literally, turning up the heat and supplying the fuel in the form of grease, butter, and the food itself.

There are other causes as well that need to be named, electrical systems, heaters, lighting, smoking, and candles to name some more at the top of the list. But for this discussion let’s focus on the kitchen and to be more exact, kitchen appliances.

First, your stove should be clean and clear of debris to deprive the heat source of fuel like grease, napkins, and items like kitchen towels, mitts, etc. Second don’t leave the kitchen area while using the stovetop for frying, grilling, etc., and when using the oven don’t leave the house and check on your progress regularly. Next, keep a pan or pot lid nearby to cover the fire if one develops to deprive the fire of oxygen, Fire extinguishers are also important items to keep close at hand, in the kitchen. A fire blanket is an item that is talked about less but is worth the investment, and, like the pan lid, also deprives the fire of the oxygen it needs. Fire blankets generally don’t have expiration dates and can quickly tamp out a small stovetop fire. Also, be mindful of coffee makers, toaster ovens and the like. Do they have auto-shutoff functionality? check into smart outlets or adapters to have greater control of these small appliances.

Most importantly educate the members of your home and have a plan. You need to talk to everyone in the home about fire risks, and how to protect against a fire even starting. Then talk about what actions should and should not be taken, and the tools you have in the home to fight a small fire. Educate each member of the home on how to safely use the tool, if a fire begins. And lastly, remember that your life is more important than property, if the fire becomes beyond your control, get out of the house, close the door behind you, and call 911.

Plan for Safety,

Andy, Senior Editor

Fire V1: Sources:, , , , www.safetymanagement.eku


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