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Take Care To Avoid Kitchen Fires This Thanksgiving

Three Common Causes of House Fires To Avoid This Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is nearly here, which means it’s time to start thinking about the epic feast that makes the holiday what it is. Turkey, candied yams and pumpkin pie are traditional staples, but every family has its favorite dishes and traditions. But one thing is for certain - there will be a whole lot of cooking going on Thanksgiving Day.

And with so much going on in the kitchen, safety should be every homeowner’s top priority. Kitchen fires are an all-too-common occurrence during the holidays, and even a small fire can get out of hand in a hurry. So keep reading to learn about three of the most common causes of kitchen fires - and how to prevent them.

Abandoned Cooking and Overly High Heat

The most common cause of kitchen fires is leaving an active cooktop unattended. This is especially dangerous with gas stoves, but walking away from any hot stove can result in disaster. The same is true of leaving something in the oven too long. And with the chaos and multi-tasking that often occurs on holidays with a house full of people, these are easy mistakes to make. Setting timers for the oven and being vigilant about watching the stove will go a long way in preventing fires.

While juggling so many dishes and recipes, it can also be tempting to speed things up by cranking up the heat. This can cause the food itself to burn and combust, one of the leading causes of kitchen fires. This is particularly dangerous when oils are involved. No matter how important it may seem to get the food on the table on time, it’s much better to play it safe and cook at the recommended temperature.

Dirty or Greasy Stove Hoodstove hood

Most homes feature a range hood with an exhaust vent directly over the stovetop. This is designed to pull moisture and grease vapor out of the kitchen and vent it through ducts that typically terminate on the roof. Grease and dust can accumulate on the vent filter or inside the vent hood over time.

This layer of gunk is flammable, so if a lick of flame from the stove or an electrical spark contacts it, or if it simply gets too hot, it may ignite. If this happens, the fire may spread into the exhaust duct, and in turn, spread to the attic. Any grease on the hood or vent filter may also drip down onto the hot stovetop below and ignite. Homeowners can help prevent these scenarios simply by keeping their vent hoods clean.

Wrong Reaction To Firefire

When a small fire erupts on the stove or in the oven, using the wrong method in an attempt to put it out can make matters much worse. It’s hard not to panic and react instinctively when food catches fire, but knowing what to do can make all the difference. The natural instinct is to throw water on the flames, but this can cause oil and grease to splatter and spread the fire.

Instead, if the flames are small, homeowners should cover the pot or pan with a lid or baking sheet, which will suffocate the fire. The same principle applies to fires in the oven or microwave - simply close the door and turn off the heat. Alternatively, they can pour baking soda or salt on the fire - but never use flour, as it can ignite and explode. If these methods fail or the flames are too big to safely perform them, using a fire extinguisher is the best bet. 

If all else fails, the homeowners should call the fire department and evacuate the house. And since even a relatively small fire can cause plenty of damage, it’s a good idea to have a reputable fire restoration company on speed dial - but nothing beats exercising fire safety in the kitchen.

About AllPhase Restoration

AllPhase Restoration has served Columbus, OH with pride for over 30 years. Their friendly certified technicians are known for their courteous, attentive service, expert workmanship, and clear communication at every stage. AllPhase is available 24/7 for rapid emergency restoration service and guarantees 100% satisfaction on every job.