A Guide to Safe Cooking

Where do you go to find chaos, conversation, and lots of delicious cooking? The kitchen. The typical Walton County kitchen has always been the hub of activity. Food brings people together at all hours of the day and under all circumstances. Although kitchens are responsible for laughter, get-togethers, and late-night conversations, they also double as the number one location for fire damage in a home. Between 2011 and 2015, United State fire departments responded to 170,200 home fires. Of these, almost half were caused by cooking. This statistic probably won’t surprise you, but from year to year, the percentage doesn’t drop. In order to avoid kitchen fire damage, we’ve compiled helpful and realistic tips to help you stay safe in the kitchen. If you happen to find yourself with a fire damage disaster, contact a professional fire restoration company that can help you safely get your home back to normal.
  1. Stay near the heat sourceFirefighter entering a fire
“It was just for a minute” and “It was even on low heat” are famous no-no’s in the safety world. Temptations to check a score in the game or to just grab something from the other room can have severe consequences. Although leaving the room won’t result in a fire 100% of the time, let’s say that .1% of the time it will. You’d only have to leave dinner unattended 1,000 times before a fire outbreak. After a year or two, this habit could be detrimental. If you’re a self-proclaimed multi-tasker and can’t seem to stay in the kitchen while the stove is on, consider bringing your cooking utensil with you. That way, when you ask yourself, “Why is this spatula in my hand?” you’ll immediately head back to check on the food.
  1. Be clean, neat, and tidy
It’s amazing how organized people can have the most disorganized kitchen between the hours of 5 and 7. Great food requires some lengthy preparation. However, it is critical to put dishtowels, ingredients, and recipe books in their proper places to avoid chaos. Keep all materials away from heat sources. Grease can quickly ignite and food can be spilled, so it’s best to take a minute or two and tidy up around the cooking area.Another important step is to tie up long hair and avoid wearing popular bell sleeves. Not only is this a fire hazard, no one wants hair in her food or spaghetti sauce on her shirt.
  1. Know how to cook with grease
About 25% of residential fires are caused by cooking with oil and grease. Since these fires can blaze quickly and intensely, they can cause extensive fire damage. We have all heard the dangers of cooking with grease, but here are a few things you may not have considered before:
  • Oils and grease should be heated up slowly to the desired temperature.
  • Always keep a lid near the stove top to suffocate flames if they arise.
  • Remember that signs of a grease fire are smoke emanating from the liquid and a potent smell, though it may take several minutes for a fire to ignite.
  • Add food to hot oil slowly and gently. Dropping an item too quickly can release tiny oil splatters that can burn skin.
  1. Have a backup plan
Accidents happen. Quick reflexes and extensive preparation don’t always quench flames. Acquainting yourself with disaster response techniques and tips will work to minimize structural damage and contain flames. However, if your home has incurred fire damage due to a kitchen fire—or any other fire—call Complete in Walton County.

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