As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, many of us will be looking forward to a full dinner plate with our favorite meal. Whether you are with family or sharing the meal with your immediate household, it is always important to remember fire safety in the kitchen.
Did you know that cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and fire injuries and that Thanksgiving is the leading day for home fires involving cooking equipment? Kistler O’Brien Fire Protection wants customers to be well prepared as they begin to prep for this meal and has provided the below list of at-home fire safety tips.
Cooking Fire Safety Tips:
- Do not walk away. Keep a close eye on what you are cooking – whether you are grilling, frying, broiling or boiling. If walking away is unavoidable, turn off the stove. Do not leave it unattended.
- Keep kids and pets away from the stove area. Accidents happen, and it is why the stove and oven should be a kid-free and pet-free zone. It is understandable that children may want to be involved in the preparation for a holiday meal, but any cooking by children should be under the strictest of adult supervision. Children should be at least three feet away from the stove.
- Be extra careful with grease. Grease fires tend to spread very quickly, so be extra cautious when cooking with either grease or other flammable liquids.
- Keep a tidy cooking workspace. Ensure that there is not anything that could easily ignite. This goes for curtains, loose sleeves, oven mitts, food packaging and more. Clean as you go!
- Be alert and pay active attention. If you are overly tired or have consumed alcohol, do not use the stove. Most cooking fires in the home involve the stovetop.
- Test your smoke alarms before the big day. Is it ready to alert you to a fire emergency? Do the batteries work?
- Be prepared for a fire emergency with a way out. Do you have an escape plan and have you practiced it with members of your household? Ensure that everyone knows how to escape in the event of a fire.
For our customers working in commercial kitchens or restaurants this Thanksgiving, below are some fire safety tips specifically for the prevention of a fire emergency.
- Be code compliant. Many restaurants and commercial kitchens already have a fire suppression system in place that will automatically react to extinguish a fire. (Good!) However, a fire suppression system and sprinkler system still need to be properly inspected and maintained by a professional and licensed fire protection provider on a regular basis. If these systems are not maintained, the equipment could fail to respond and not function accordingly.
- Be prepared. Commercial kitchens should be equipped with a wet chemical fire extinguisher, rated “A” or “K”. This can be the first line of defense against a small kitchen fire (class “K”) and it is the only extinguisher allowed in a commercial kitchen (NFPA 10 V. 2010).
- Get trained. In addition to having a fire extinguisher, commercial kitchen teams should be educated on how to use a fire extinguisher properly and know the location of fire alarm pull down stations. If a team member does not know how to use the fire extinguisher, trying to figure it out in the moment of a fire emergency can cause more harm than good. Learn more about fire safety training here.
- Grease buildup is dangerous. It is highly flammable and the cause of many restaurant fires. Keep your kitchen as clean as possible and bust grease on a regular basis.
Kistler O’Brien Fire Protection is here to help. Call us at 610-266-7100 for more information or to schedule service. Our factory-trained and industry-certified technicians are available 24/7 for emergency service.
We wish everyone a very happy and safe Thanksgiving!