Some of you may be surprised to learn that cooking fires are the #1 cause of residential fires in Canada. Even though the latest Canadian fire statistics are hard to find, independent research studies have shown that the kitchen is the leading area of origin for residential fires and home fire injuries.
While cooking on a stove is something that most of us do every day, it can be easy to forget just how dangerous and fast-spreading stove-top fires can be. Stove tops are considered to be the most dangerous appliance in any household and for good reason.
According to the NFPA, it is estimated that 62% of all house fires and almost 87% of all fire-related injuries and household fire deaths are caused due to stove top and oven fires. It was also found that seniors, over the age of 75, were at the highest risk of being injured and fatally burned in home fire incidents.
For seniors that live independently, preventive measures must be taken to reduce the risk of starting a fire while cooking on the stove. In this article, we will learn about the precautions, safety tips, and actions that every homeowner should take to reduce the risk of home fires and keep loved ones safe.
What Are The Common Causes Of Stove Top Fires?
Kitchen fires can be caused due to a variety of reasons, many of which boil down to human negligence. Some of the most common causes of stove top fires include:
- Leaving cooking unattended
- Having flammable items close to the stovetop
- Being distracted or multi-tasking when cooking
- Cooking on a greasy and unclean stovetop
- Forgetting to turn off the stove after use
- Overloading the stove with too many pots and pans
- Wearing loose clothing when cooking that can easily catch fire
- Frying food on high heat
What Safety Precautions Can You Take To Reduce The Risk Of Cooking Fires?
It is essential that while cooking you are focused on just cooking and nothing else. Any form of distractions or multi-tasking can take away your focus resulting in mistakes that can prove costly.
It can only take a few seconds for a stove fire to occur and that is why you should never leave anything you are cooking unattended.
Keeping your stovetop area clean and devoid of any food residue, grease, oil, and other flammable items is another precaution that should always be taken.
Grease fires are notoriously difficult to put out and can be easily avoided by cleaning your stove top regularly to avoid any excess build-up.
Other precautions you should take, especially when deep frying, is to always fry on low heat instead of high heat. Raising the cooking oil temperature too fast or cooking the oil for too long on high heat can cause it to catch fire.
It is also a good idea to always have a pot cover nearby to smother a fire in case it does arise while preparing a meal. Having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen is also immensely important along with smoke detectors and stovetop sensors that can effectively stop a stovetop fire before it can even happen.
How Do You Effectively Extinguish Stove Top Fires?
There are several ways you can effectively extinguish a stove top fire depending on its severity.
For smaller pan fires or grease fires, the first thing to do is turn off the stove and cover the flames with a metal lid or pot cover. Leave the cover on until the flames are completely extinguished and the cover has cooled. You can also pour baking soda or salt to smother the fire.
For larger fires, smother the fire with a wet towel or a wet blanket. If the fire isn’t manageable or is spreading fast use a class B dry chemical fire extinguisher to put out the flames.
If the flames have somehow latched on to your clothing don’t run or try to use your hand to smother the flames off. Instead, just drop down and start to roll around. It is the most effective way to put the fire out.
Under no circumstances should you ever throw water on a stovetop fire. Grease and oil don’t mix well with water and can cause a kitchen fire to spread even more quickly making it extremely dangerous.
Once you have extinguished the flame and gotten everyone to safety, call 911 immediately.
How Can A Stove Top Sensor Help?
The most effective way to avoid starting a fire while cooking on your stove is by installing a stove sensor. This simple yet effective device can automatically stop a fire before it even begins and is by far the best way to prevent stove top fires as a result of leaving cookware unattended.
The Northwood Intouch Stove Sensor is designed and engineered to constantly monitor any movements in and around the stove area. The way it works is simple. A sensor is plugged into a wall outlet and then the stove plugs into the sensor. The installation is extremely easy as it is a simple plug-and-play device - no electrician is required to install it.
Once installed the stove sensor has effectively full control over your stove. It can now automatically shut off burners if left unattended for too long by cutting power to the outlet. The sensor will also sound an alarm that has to be cleared by the user or caregiver before power is restored to the outlet.
Get The Peace Of Mind You Deserve With Northwood Intouch!
Apart from stove top sensors, Northwood Intouch also offers a range of other products designed to help seniors enjoy a safer, happier, and more active lifestyle. For more information, give us a call at 1-800-461-3346 or 902-492-3346.