Stove-top and Kitchen Fire Prevention
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Each year, there are more than 500 residential electric stove-top fires. The results are tragic. Over the past decade, cooking fires have caused 34 fatalities.
The leading cause of these fires is leaving cooking unattended. Other causes are:
- Loose clothing and articles near the stove;
- Children playing near the stove;
- Trying to put out a grease fire with water; and
- Trying to cook while under the influence of alcohol.
Be extra careful with a traditional coil element stove, which cause the most fires. Its elements heat up to 700 degrees celsius, much hotter than ceramic top, induction or gas stoves. ESA worked with other regulators, standards developers and appliance manufacturers to limit the heat these stovetops could generate. Newer stoves now feature automatic shut offs when a certain temperature is reached.
Whatever kind of stove you have at home, follow these tips to keep you and your family safe.
- Stay in the kitchen and pay attention when cooking;
- Drink responsibly when cooking;
- If a fire starts, get out immediately and call 911; and
- Keep anything that can catch fire – such as oven mitts or towels – away from your stovetop.
No matter how old you are, kitchen safety is important. Here are some tips to keep your children safe in the kitchen:
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where you prepare or carry hot food or drink;
- Make sure kids get your permission before cooking;
- Always supervise children when they are using a microwave oven;
- Make a home escape plan. Draw a map of your home showing all doors and windows. Discuss the plan with everyone in your home;
- Teach children how to escape your home on their own in case you can’t help them; and
- Check that you are using approved cooking products. These bear the symbol of a certified product testing agency accredited by the Standards Council of Canada.