It is in your best interest to know and understand the common causes of kitchen fires within your home or building.
It is more common for a fire to begin in the kitchen than in any other room in the house. The reason for this is due to cooking being left unattended or poorly monitored.
To reduce the risk that a kitchen fire may pose on your home or life, it is important that you know some simple steps and precautions to take to ensure the event of a fire is minimised, or ideally, eliminated.
What Are The Common Causes Of Kitchen Fires?
- An Unkept Kitchen.
When cooking in the kitchen it is important to make the effort to clean all kitchen surfaces.
Cooking in a clean environment without any build-up of oils and grease can aide in preventing kitchen fires within your home. A greasy kitchen can pose a risk as it encourages the ignition of a fire.
In the event of a kitchen fire in your home, a fire blanket is a good tool to keep handy as they are designed to handle fires that are caused by cooking oils and fats.
These types of fire are otherwise known as a “class F fires”. Please refer to our this detailed blog about Fire Blankets.
- Faulty and Unsafe Equipment or Appliances.
Updating and maintaining your kitchen appliances is imperative when preventing a “class f” (kitchen) fire.
Using old or damaged equipment could potentially cause an electrical fire due to the appliance overheating or sparking.
To maintain safety, it is recommended to have your kitchen equipment and appliances routinely tested and tagged.
- Complacency in the Kitchen.
Becoming complacent or being unaware of some common kitchen safety procedures could be the cause of a fire within your kitchen.
Ensuring that staff are properly inducted in the required procedures and dangers in the kitchen is essential.
Just the simple mistake of turning your back on an open flame could be all it takes to bring the devastation of a fire to your workplace.
- Poor Ventilation.
A ventilation system is an essential part of any commercial kitchen.
They help to recycle the air within the vicinity and reduce the amount of smoke and smells that maybe hanging around.
If the ventilation system isn’t looked after and maintained regularly, then grease and soot can build up and ignite when the ducts reach high temperatures.
To reduce the risk of a ventilation fire, it is important to be sure that the system is regularly cleaned and maintained.
How Can I Prevent A Kitchen Fire?
As kitchen fires can happen so quickly, it is important to understand the steps that need to be taken to prevent a kitchen fire occurring in your home or workplace
Just some of the precautions that need to be taken are as follows:
- Never leave your cooking unattended. Turn it off if you leave the room.
- Keep your cooking area clear of any flammable materials such as tea towels and oven mitts.
- Heat oil slowly and keep in mind what size of saucepan you may need for the amount of oil that you are using, keeping the saucepan lid within reach is a good idea as you can use it to smother a fire if it may occur.
Refer to the QFES for a more detailed overview of how you can prevent a kitchen fire in your home or workplace.
What Type Of Equipment Is Required For A Kitchen Fire?
The following equipment is recommended, obtaining as a precaution for the event of a “class f” (kitchen) fire.
- A Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher
If you are using a large amount of oil for cooking in your kitchen, i.e. a deep fryer, then a wet chemical fire extinguisher is recommended.
Keep in mind that wet fire extinguishers are not recommended for situations where a small amount of oil is being used (such as a stove top). This is due to the force of the fire extinguisher causing the fire to spread.
To reduce the amount of damage a fire within your home or workplace kitchen could cause, it is important that your fire equipment remains accessible within your kitchen at all times.