Cooking Safely In The Kitchen
Did you know that:
- In NSW Fire & Rescue attends approximately 2,500 kitchen fires annually – over half of the reported residential fires
- 2012 in Victoria 42% of reported house fires started in the kitchen (3,800 total fires attended)
- For the financial year 2010-2011 in WA on average there was almost one kitchen fire per day (312 in total) causing an estimated damage of $5,050,700.00.
There are a number of safety tips that these websites all recommend to help maintain a fire safety when cooking in your kitchen.
Below is a selected list of tips.
For a full list please visit the website links and extra websites at the bottom of this article.
Tips for cooking safely
- If there are children or elderly people in your home it is very important to ensure you are aware of their whereabouts whilst cooking. Accidental spillages by curious or fragile hands can cause serious burns, scolding or can even lead to fires.
- Never leave frying, boiling or grilling foods unattended. If you have to walk away, turn it off. For simmering, baking or roasting make sure you check it on a regular basis and if you can remain in the kitchen do so. Always be sure to use a timer to remind you that you are cooking if you do have to walk away or take a cooking utensil with you as a visual reminder.
- Never leave flammable items such as paper towel, tea towels, oven mitts, food packaging etc near the oven or cook top.
- When cooking always make sure pot handles are not overhanging the cooking surface or bench
- When heating oil choose the right size saucepan to avoid splatters
- Make sure ovens, cooktops and rangehood filters are cleaned regularly to reduce a build-up of grease and fat. Many filters can be cleaned in a dishwasher these days, check with the manufacturer.
- Try not to cook with loose fitting clothes particularly loose fitting sleeves that may inadvertently touch gas flames.
- Never use water to put out fat or oil fires, this can cause them to spread more rapidly and result in burns. Use a cooking lid, fire blanket or extinguisher to smother the flames.
- If a pan catches fire do not try and move it. This can make the situation worse with spillage and may even cause injury to you or a family member.
- If the contents in your oven catch fire, leave the oven door closed to assist with smothering the flames.
- Within arm’s reach (minimum 1 metre away) have a small fire extinguisher and fire blanket. Make sure you read the instructions and understand how to use them.
- Always make sure you have a smoke alarm installed nearby but not directly in the kitchen. You don’t want alarms going off when you are simply cooking meals!
- In the end if you are not confident that you can put it out, turn the appliance off, leave your home and call Triple 0 (000)
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