How To Reduce The Risk Of A Kitchen Fire At Home

Tuesday 5th December 2023

Ellen Warren

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A fire on a stovetop in the kitchen

CONTENTS

Kitchen fires are an unfortunately frequent occurrence in the UK, making up around 44% of accidental fires in homes. These fires have led to a 9.7% fatality rate of accidental house fires, meaning 20 people died from a kitchen fire in 2022.

If you require cleaning after a kitchen fire, our experts can help. At ICE Cleaning, we offer thorough fire damage clean-up services, including air cleaning and decontamination processes, ensuring your home is contaminant-free and safe to inhabit again.

Read on to learn more about common fire hazards, ways to reduce risks and essential prevention steps.

The prevalence of kitchen fires

Kitchen fires are more commonplace than most realise. In fact, according to the fire and rescue services in the UK, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and injuries.

A key fact in a published study for the end of March 2023 states, "cooking appliances were responsible for 44% of accidental dwelling fires, but only 9.7% of fire-related fatalities".

This statistic highlights how vital it is to be aware and prepared when using your kitchen. Most kitchen fires occur between 5 pm and 8 pm – which is when most prepare for dinner. 

However, there are easy ways to prevent house fires, which come in a combination of common sense and the safe use of appliances, oils, and kitchen utensils.

Identifying common fire hazards in kitchens

Your kitchen can also be a hotspot for potential fire hazards. These hazards are easily avoidable with vigilance and initiative in safety checks from gas engineers or electricians. These hazards include:

  • Cooking appliances: Nearly half of house fires occur due to cooking appliances. This could involve leaving your stove unattended or an overheating microwave.
  • Flammable objects near heat sources: Tea towels or paper close to hobs are easy kindling for fires. Remember to keep flammables away from any heating equipment.
  • Faulty wiring: Electrical malfunctions contribute significantly to domestic fires. Regularly check appliances for faulty wires or contact a local electrician for a safety check.

Implementing fire risk reduction measures in kitchens

Reducing fire risks in kitchens is crucial for your safety and your property's integrity. By implementing these fire risk prevention measures, you can significantly enhance kitchen safety and reduce the likelihood of a fire breaking out:

  • Installing smoke alarms
  • Never leave cooking unattended
  • Keep flammable items away from ovens and hobs
  • Have engineers or electricians perform safety checks annually
  • Clean grease and food residue regularly
  • Check for faulty wires or overloaded sockets
  • Store flammables properly and away from heat
  • Install an extraction fan above the stovetop
  • Clean kitchen exhaust fans and hoods regularly
  • Use fire-resistant cooking utensils

Essential steps for preventing kitchen fires

The first step to preventing kitchen fires is awareness. Be aware that standard household appliances, such as cooking equipment and heating ovens, can start fires if not operated correctly.

Never leave cooking unattended - if you must take a break, turn off all heat sources and remove food from the heat.

Maintaining a clean cooking area also helps prevent fires. Accumulated grease and fat catch fire easily, so regularly cleaning the stove, oven, and extractor fan is crucial.

An important preventive measure includes keeping flammable objects away from heat sources. Tea towels, wooden utensils, or plastic bags must be clear of stovetops and grills.

Having working smoke alarms in your home is crucial for emergencies. They give early warning signs, allowing everyone to evacuate safely before a fire becomes unmanageable. 

Responding to a kitchen fire

If a fire starts in your kitchen, do not panic. Firstly, evacuate the property, shout 'fire' and call 999. Never try to tackle large fires yourself, as you could be at risk of injury or death.

For smaller incidents, like pan-fires, there are some steps you can take. Put on oven mitts to protect your hands and arms, but do not waste precious seconds searching for them. Grab a metal lid or flat baking tray and carefully slide it over the burning pan to smother the flames.

You should never use water on oil or grease fires, as this can cause dangerous flare-ups. Instead, use an appropriate extinguisher if you have one on hand, which would be a wet chemical fire extinguisher.

Post-fire cleaning and restoration

The aftermath of a kitchen fire can feel overwhelming. It is imperative to begin cleaning up promptly, as quick action will help reduce further damage.

Professional cleaning services, like those offered by ICE Cleaning, are equipped with specialist tools for removing soot and smoke residue from surfaces. They use specific techniques that ensure no harmful particles remain.

Sadly, some things might need to be disposed of due to extensive damage or contamination risk. Some furniture may be salvageable, but most damaged by fire and soot may be unsavable. An expert can help you in this process if you are unsure of what to do.

Frequently asked questions

What to do if there is a kitchen fire?

If a kitchen fire starts, get everyone out and dial 999. If it is safe, try to smother the flames with a pan lid or metal baking tray.

What is the main cause of kitchen fires?

The primary cause of most kitchen fires tends to be unattended cooking. Leaving pots or pans on high heat can quickly ignite a fire.

Which is the most likely cause of a kitchen fire?

Neglected cooking appliances are often at fault for starting home fires.

Get in touch

ICE Cleaning's experts can step up and help after a fire. Our technicians offer fire restoration services and can eradicate all traces of soot and smoke from your property. Our advanced technology allows for thorough air decontamination and deep cleaning to extract harmful contaminants.

To learn more about our fire damage cleaning services, contact our team today at 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk. We offer emergency cleaning and can be on-site the same day as your first call. Our technicians operate nationwide, 24/7, 365 days a year.

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