According to the National Fire Protection Association, 43% of home fires are started in the kitchen, making kitchen fires the #1 cause of home fires.  Leaving cooking food unattended is a major culprit.  It is very important to always practice safety when cooking in the kitchen.  Here are some tips to help prevent a kitchen fire from damaging or destroying your home:

  • Never leave the kitchen when something is cooking.
  • Put a timer on the oven so you do not forget it is on.
  • Have a fire extinguisher close by.  Make sure it is fully charged and has not expired.
  • If you do not have a fire extinguisher, keep baking soda nearby to put out grease or oil fires.
  • Do not wear clothing that has flowing sleeves or dangling fringe that could catch fire.
  • Make sure pot handles are always turned in.
  • Keep young children out of the kitchen and teach older children about the dangers of kitchen fires.
  • Keep towels, dish clothes, pot holders and anything flammable away from the stove.
  • If you have you oven set to self-clean, be sure you can air out the kitchen while it is working.
  • If a fire starts in the oven, turn it off and leave the door shut.  It should burn itself out due to the lack of oxygen.
  • If a fire starts in a pan on the stove, turn it off and put a lid on the pan.  If you do not have a lid, pour baking soda on it.
  • When a fire becomes too much to control or you can not put it out, leave your house immediately and call 911 for help.  Your life is always more important than the kitchen.

Standard homeowner’s insurance policies do cover homes for kitchen fires, but only up to the limits set forth in the policy.  Prevention is always the best idea to avoid any injuries or damage to your home.