When you are operating a gas or electric range it is essential to practice safety measures, especially if you have young children in the home. Most residential fires in the United States start in the kitchen, and most of these fires are preventable. Protect yourself and your family by preventing home fires with these basic safety guidelines.
Oven Safety Check:
Inspect your oven periodically. Always check for gas leaks if you have a gas range. If you smell gas in the air you should turn off the unit, open some windows, leave the room, and call for maintenance before using the gas range again. Before heating up the oven, check inside for any items. To reduce the risk of fire, avoid storing items in the oven. Clean any food or grease residue before cooking, as it could ignite a fire.
Protect Your Body:
Always protect your body and clothing from fire hazards. Tie back long hair, roll up sleeves, and remove dangling jewelry that can get caught in a burner. Keep potholders in a safe but reachable area and always use them to remove hot pans from the oven. Open the oven door slowly to avoid burning your face with high temperatures and steam.
Use natural products when cleaning your oven so you don’t breathe toxic fumes. Make sure the oven is completely cool before you start cleaning. One natural solution is to spray vinegar inside your oven, then evenly sprinkle all over with baking soda. Allow it to sit and fizzle for 30 minutes to an hour, then use a scouring sponge or damp cloth to remove the grime. When you are wiping the oven, make sure not to lean against the door, since it is not strong enough to hold your body weight. A clean oven will reduce the chance of a fire caused by food residue.
In Case of Fire:
Even if you practice every safety precaution, kitchen fires are still a possibility. Do not use water to extinguish a fire caused by grease. Adding water to a grease fire can cause it to spread. Adding water to an electrical fire can cause electrocution. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby to put out small, manageable fires. As an alternative, keep baking soda and metal lids nearby to extinguish a fire quickly and safely. Install a smoke detector on all levels of your home.