According to the NFPA, two out of every three kitchen fires start with the ignition of food.
Since it’s unreasonable to expect tenants to stop cooking, that remains a risk that we can’t eliminate completely. What we can do is provide some tips to our renters to minimize the risk as much as possible.
- Stick Around – When you’re cooking with heat, make sure that you stay where you can see what’s happening. Being able to see pots boiling over, smell ovens smoking, see sparks in a microwave, and hear timers going off is the easiest way to stay safe. This will allow you to catch issues before they become dangerous problems. If something does happen, shut off the power immediately.
- Be Alert –Tasting the wine for that sauce is fine, but save the majority of your glass for dinner. If your awareness is compromised opt to order in or let someone else do the cooking. Timers are great reminders that you have something happening in the kitchen. Especially in the world of technology and easy distractions, it can be easy to forget that you set a pot to boil. Most microwaves and stoves come with timers and there’s always alarms functions on your phone.
- Stay Clean – Clean as you go. This will save you time in the long run since cleaning dried on food is much more intensive. It will also reduce the number of things lying around that could potential catch on fire. Having more room also makes it easier for you to keep a proper space around your heat source.
- Watch the Grease – Grease can catch fire incredibly quickly and it can be hard to suppress. If grease spatters onto a hot surface it can instantly cause a fire. If that happens, don’t move the pot or pan, don’t fan the flames, and don’t pour water on it. The best way to stop a grease fire is by smothering it so always keep a lid nearby. If you don’t feel comfortable smothering it, or it’s too big, evacuate the house and call 911.
- Caution the Kids – Kids should stay at least three feet away from a heat source until they’re old enough to understand the danger and they’ve been taught how to properly use the kitchen facilities. Kids are curious and tend to reach for things – which can knock them over or put them in danger of burning themselves. Kids are also a major distraction – they’re just so full of questions and cuteness it’s easy to forget about other things.
- Dress Appropriately – Loose clothing can easily fall into a flame and catch fire. Roll up your sleeves and if you’re cooking outside make sure that none of your clothing, like skirts, good be blown near the grill by a strong breeze.
- The Grill needs its Space – Speaking of grills… Make sure that grills are at least ten feet away from the dwelling or other things that can catch on fire. They should always be placed on a solid flat surface to ensure they remain stable. Not only do grills create a fire risk, but the smoke can cause discoloration to your siding.
We hope that these tips will keep you, your tenants, and your property safe!