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My Kitchen: Is It Fire Safe?

WHAT CAN I DO TO KEEP MY KITCHEN SAFE?

Keep Cooking Surfaces Clean and Clutter Free

  • Keep appliances free of spills and grease that may catch fire.
  • Keep curtains, dish towels, plastic containers and pot holders away from hot surfaces.

Operate Microwave Ovens Safely

  • Always use pot holders or oven mitts to remove food from microwaves.
  • Be careful when removing a wrapper or cover from microwaved food. Steam escaping from the container can cause a burn.

Take Care of Electrical Cords

  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many kitchen appliances.
  • Check electrical cords and plugs and discard them if they are damaged.

Install Working Smoke Alarms

  • Purchase and install working smoke alarms. Specialized alarms with a pause feature are available for the kitchen to prevent nuisance alarms.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.  For battery operated smoke alarms, replace the batteries at least once a year.
  • Follow manufacturer's instructions for other maintenance information.

HOW CAN I COOK SAFELY?

Stay in the Kitchen When Cooking

  • Never leave cooking unattended. Oil or fat can easily ignite.
  • Always turn elements off when you are finished cooking.
  • Turn off or unplug electrical appliances when you are finished using them.
  • Keep children a safe distance from the cooking area.
  • Cooking requires you to be alert. Avoid cooking when under the influence of alcohol or medications.
Turn off and unplug appliances.

Wear Short or Tight-Fitting Sleeves

  • Avoid loose sleeves that may dangle into flames or onto hot elements.
  • Keep the area around your stove free from items that may burn.

Turn Pot Handles In

  • Prevent burns by turning pot handles toward the back of the stove when cooking. By doing this pots can not be pulled or knocked off the stove.
  • Whenever possible use rear elements.
Turn pot handles in.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A KITCHEN FIRE?

If you have a fire in your home:

  • Get everyone out.
  • Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number from a neighbour's phone.

Consider using a portable fire extinguisher ONLY if the following conditions exist:

  • Everyone has left the building.
  • The fire department has been called.
  • The fire is confined to a small area.
  • A clear escape route exists between you and the fire.
  • There is an appropriate, working fire extinguisher available.
  • You have read the extinguisher instructions and have received training in it's safe operation

If the fire does not go out, leave your home and call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number.

Slide a lid over the flames.

WHAT KINDS OF FIRES MAY HAPPEN IN MY KITCHEN?

Grease fires: Use a pot holder or oven mitt and slide a lid or a cookie sheet over the flames. Then turn the heat off. Never put water on a grease fire.

Oven fires: Close the oven door and turn the heat off.

Microwave fires: Keep the door closed and turn the microwave off.

NOTE: For all fires, get everyone out of the home and call the fire department

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO KNOW?

If Your Clothes Catch on Fire

  • Stop, Drop to the floor, cover your face with your hands, and Roll. Keep rolling until the flames are out.

If You Get a Burn

  • Immediately cool the burned area by placing it under cool water for 10-15 minutes. Cool water reduces skin damage and minimizes pain. NEVER use butter, lotions, ice or ointments to treat a burn. Don't break blisters as this could cause infection. Seek medical attention if any burns char the skin, blister, look white or become infected.

Children in The Kitchen

  • The kitchen is not a play area for children.
  • Establish a safe area where children can be placed away from risk but under continuous supervision.
  • Never leave hot liquids or foods unattended or where a child may pull them down. Keep children at a safe distance when you pour or drink hot liquids.
  • Do not store tempting food items such as snacks or cereals above or near the stove.
  • Prevent burns by turning pot handles toward the back of the stove.
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Greater Vancouver Fire Chiefs Association Public Education Committee