With the safer at home order, many families are cooking much more than before. This is a good opportunity to remind people of some fire safety tips in the kitchen.
While some tips are obvious, like always using oven mitts or potholders to remove pots and pans from the stove, The Janesville Fire Department put together this list of other tips to remember:
- Enjoy your coffee break, but keep children at a safe distance from all hot liquids. A child’s quick movements can knock a cup over or out of your hand, causing a burn.
- When toddlers are in the home, avoid using a tablecloth. If a child tries to pull themselves up by the tablecloth, a heavy object or hot liquid on the table could fall on the child.
- Keep all hot items near the center of the table, at least 12 inches from the edge, to prevent a young child from reaching them.
- While cooking, keep young children in a high chair or playpen, at a safe distance from hot surfaces, hot liquids and other kitchen hazards.
- Use extra caution if you use deep fat (oil) cookers/fryers when young children are present. The fat or oil may reach temperatures over 400 degrees F. Hot grease, fat and oils can very quickly cause severe burns.
- Keep appliance cords away from the edge of counters, and keep them unplugged and disconnected when not in use. A dangling cord is dangerous because it can be caught in a cabinet door or pulled on by a curious child.
- Keep pot handles turned in so the pots cannot be pulled off or knocked off the stove.
- Store cookies and other foods away from the stove area so no one will be tempted to reach across a hot burner.
- Store potholders, paper towels, seasonings and other cooking items at a safe distance from the stove.
The fire department also suggests having a “safe area” in the kitchen for children, where they can be away from any risks but also under supervision. They say parents should also create a “no zone” directly in front of the stove. Children should be taught to avoid this area.
Make sure to also have working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home. When it comes to fire extinguishers, family members should know where they are stored and how they work. With children home, you may also consider having fire drills. The Janesville Fire Department has these tips:
- Practice fire drills in the home.
- Have two ways out of each room.
- Windows and doors must be operable (latch, open & close).
- Have a designated meeting place.