Whether you’re whipping up a delicious meal after a hard day at work or inviting friends over for a meal, cooking can be a joyous hobby for many. Yet, one small miscalculation can turn a fun cooking experience into a dangerous one. Many home cooks unknowingly put themselves and their families in danger by carrying out small kitchen mistakes that can risk destructive fires. We’re breaking down five cooking errors and what you can do to protect your kitchen.
1. Too Many Distractions
Multi-tasking can be beneficial in certain contexts, but it’s definitely not something you should do while cooking. It’s best to refrain from distractions while cooking, especially any form of entertainment that demands your attention. Any form of distraction can significantly slow down your reaction time and can increase the risk of a kitchen fire. The even bigger mistake numerous Canadians make is leaving their food on the stove unattended and completing other house tasks. An unsupervised pan on the stove is a disaster waiting to happen.
2. Using Your Stove As A Countertop
Cooking can get hectic and messy! Many home cooks have run out of countertop space and resorted to using their stove as a frantic last-minute option. Sometimes, it has less to do with a lack of countertop space and more to do with an unconscious habit of placing a towel or utensil on the stove. Regardless of the reason, your stove top was not manufactured to be used as a second countertop. Placing a flammable item such as a kitchen towel or Tupperware can be a risky move that could start a fire.
3. Cooking With Oil On High Heat
Kitchen fires caused by cooking oil lead to the most destructive and damaging types of home fires. Deep frying can be particularly risky so it’s best to invest in a thermostatically-controlled fryer which ensures safe cooking. If you must cook food with oil, make sure to use oils that can handle high temperatures and avoid adding too much oil to the pan. Regularly cleaning your stove or oven will get rid of any old grease and reduce the risk of a kitchen fire.
4. Wearing Loosely Fitted Clothes
Aprons are not enough when it comes to cooking attire. Wearing loose fitted clothing, especially garments that have hanging sleeves, puts the cook at an increased risk of harm. A simple act of reaching over to pick up a pot can lead to an item of clothing catching fire. To protect yourself, it’s always best to switch into something tight fitted with no sleeves.
5. Your Kitchen Is Not Equipped With A Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are very affordable and can be easily purchased from any home appliance store. Making sure that there is a fire extinguisher within arms reach in your kitchen can truly save your life and prevent fire damage to your home. It takes no time to stop by a store on your way home from work to pick up one and you’ll be assured that you are prepared for a sudden fire, should it ever happen.
The Bottom Line
Cooking can be a great hobby and experience when done safely, so we truly encourage you to take extra precautions when you’re in the kitchen. If a fire does break out, your safety is a priority so stay a safe distance away from the fire and call for help. If you’ve recently experienced a kitchen fire, talk to us about filing a claim! Contact us today!