If you’re a South Jersey resident that loves to cook, you probably know a few things about safety in the kitchen. You know that the internal temperature of chicken needs to be at least 165 degrees before you can serve it. You have separate cutting boards for meat and vegetables, and you wouldn’t dream of using them for anything else. You may know a lot about food safety, but what about general safety in the kitchen?
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) identify cooking fires as the number one cause of home fires and injuries. The leading cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking, but true cooking safety should go beyond simply making sure that you don’t leave a pot boiling on the stove. If you want to protect your family against the number one fire threat in the average American home, make sure you follow these tips when you’re making your next meal.
Always be alert
A boiling pot isn’t the only danger in your home, anything on the stove top or in the oven can cause damage. Never leave the kitchen when you’re in the process of frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food. It’s easy for things to boil over, or for grease from frying to splatter onto surfaces. If you’re simmering, baking, roasting, or slow cooking food, you still need to be vigilant. Set a timer so that you remember to periodically check on food when it’s cooking. Also, avoid cooking food if you’re sleeping or have consumed medicine or alcohol that can make you drowsy.
Know how to put out a fire
In the event of a fire, you need to be prepared. Most kitchens have fire extinguishers located underneath the sink or in other areas, but sometimes they aren’t the best tools for fighting fire. If there’s a grease fire, immediately turn off the burner and try place the lid over the pan to smother the fire. Be sure to slide the lid over the flames instead of dropping the lid directly on it. If there’s a fire in the oven, immediately close the door and turn the oven off. If there’s an electrical fire, use the fire extinguisher at your discretion.
Know when to call for help
It’s important to note that you should never hesitate to call 911 if you feel like you’re in danger. Even if you end up successfully extinguishing a fire before the authorities get there, it never hurts to have help. Some kitchen fires that start small can be extinguished quickly, but a powerful fire is never anything you should try to take on by yourself. If there’s damage after the fire, don’t feel like you have to handle it alone. A South Jersey public adjuster can help you get the most out of your insurance claim, and can help you through the entire process.