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Thread: How to avoid kitchen fires-be safe and be attentive when cooking

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    Dancing bean paste bun Ciel's Avatar
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    This morning, I saw the re-broadcast of L'Epicerie on Radio-Canada-the first segment (la cuisine brule) dealt with kitchen fires and how they can be responsible for a significant number of deaths due to fire in Montreal.

    The show is in French-video is an effective way to learn information even if you don't speak the language.
    http://www.radio-canada.ca/emissions/l_epicerie/2013-2014/Reportage.asp?idDoc=321330&autoPlay=http://www.radio-canada.ca/Medianet/2013/cbft/2013-11-27_19_30_00_EPI_0580_01_1200.asx


    Tips offered are:
    -be attentive when cooking (don't get distracted by phone, etc.)
    -turning cooking pot handles to the inside of the stove perimeter (no handles over any edge of the stovetop); don't have kitchen towels on the stove edge>better to hang them on oven door handle
    -when using a cooking pot lid (one is supposed to always have that lid nearby) to smother a fire, slide it sideways and slowly to achieve the goal. Dropping a lid vertically and quickly may cause a flame to come out the sides of the pot interior
    -fire extinguishers-I believe the safety officer said they should be located by the doorways of the kitchen-should be sprayed with a steady and slow stream

    You'll see what happens when you douse a flame with water or with flour.

    Guess what I noticed this morning-my father left a gas burner on low after frying up his breakfast. How did I notice? I heard a whoosh sound from the gas ring when I passed by the stove to leave someone's glass on the kitchen counter. It's not the first time either and I called him into the kitchen to turn it off. Then I opened the window for a few minutes to air out the gas.

    Both of my parents tend not to stay in the kitchen if they are heating up soup or boiling water--they are not listening to me when I say use the built-in timer so you'll have to shut it off and check on your pot on the stove. Sometimes I'll put the timer on for 1 minute when I see a pot unattended to find out who'll react to the sound when it goes off.
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    Mastermind Shwa Girl's Avatar
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    Good reminder.

    There were news clips about fires related to US Thanksgiving too. Someone tried to cook a turducken in their turkey fryer and put it too close to the house.
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    Thanks for posting this. I'm super paranoid about leaving the stove on. I cook eggs during the week for breakfast and I've developed a system to check to see if the burner light is on because before I was halfway to work and worried that I left the stove on.
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    Dancing bean paste bun Ciel's Avatar
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    Had two power outages this week, so bbq lighters to light the gas burners were the way to go. I was quite good at ensuring the locking lighters got locked. Parents did not notice the lock and clicked away. Then after the obvious was pointed out, they unlocked the gadgets and lit burners but did not re-lock the gadgets.
    Am going to toss out the spent lighters next week.
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    CaNewbie jaydenmoorie's Avatar
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    I have some tips to avoid them. the main reason of fires occur when people living food on the stove unattended. So don't leave the kitchen while you have things cooking and be aware of the items around the stove-top. Be careful when using towels to move a pot off the burner.
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    Dancing bean paste bun Ciel's Avatar
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    One tip I remember learning was to always put the pot lid on the counter when using a pot on the stovetop. That way, instant smother control is ready in case the cooking catches fire and one has to do the walk (or backwards if you don't have that lid on!) outdoors to fire to extinguish.
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    Have a good exhaust fan setup so steam/smoke won't hide potential fire hazards, also useful for health reasons, as well as keeping the kitchen clean as well

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    Dancing bean paste bun Ciel's Avatar
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    Just getting other family members to wipe up spills on the stove after cooking would be lovely. No exhaust fan/hood setup; there's a low profile one for $3K on the market...I wish...
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    Dancing bean paste bun Ciel's Avatar
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    So today Dad thinks two pots in the oven are worth ignoring-not me as I see smoke coming out as the cast iron pot liquid seeps over the edge and liquid burns on the oven bottom below (of course he did not cleanup-I'm so angry). Guy just doesn't get kitchen safety rules. And I did not appreciate smelling like smoke while out on my walk.
    Might have to get someone else involved with him to address his behaviour. Now I have to worry if the detector is going to go off just as someone starts the oven. It happened about two years ago after another food cooking spill inside; afterwards, the more sensitive detector would shriek during the oven temp warmup.
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    CaNewbie angelapride's Avatar
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    Your tips are very effective and valuable. I want to add some more points like most common reason of kitchen fires is leaving food on the stove unattended. My second point is be aware of the items near the stove top like kitchen towel, curtains. These things can easily catch fires. Keep you fire department telephone number written always.

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    Dancing bean paste bun Ciel's Avatar
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    Besides the reminder of stovetop or oven safety, clearing countertop clutter/cords & keeping the floor free of slip hazards (no club packs or bags or rugs without underpad/adhesive), it's time to point out that you need a reminder system to water a live Xmas tree in the home.

    This is a dry tree on fire: https://twitter.com/USCPSC/status/804513015366291457
    You don't want your residence to become lost to use and a story in the local paper. Have a Post-It note by the faucet where the water container/pitcher is located and a day chart where family members jot their name and date/time of watering.
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    Dancing bean paste bun Ciel's Avatar
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    Just as someone has to be the "lifeguard" at a private pool when it's in use by visitors and family, someone has to be the "fire chief" around any cooking appliances in use, any stoves/ovens in use or lit candles (please don't lose a home due to an unattended candle-always extinguish the flame before leaving the room). Let's be safe over the holidays, SCers!
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    Dancing bean paste bun Ciel's Avatar
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    Candle and cooking safety reminders: http://www.insidehalton.com/news-sto...re-department/
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    Smart Canuck Linda Evans's Avatar
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    some good tips!
    my sisters friend is 89 & she doesnt use her oven, which is a huge relief. she has electric kettle for tea & microwave for food. when my mum was alive i use to worry constantly about her b/c she was so absent minded. i remember when i was about 12, mum fell asleep with a ciggy in her bed(sofa bed)...the apt was filled with smoke & we were lucky no one was hurt.
    another time in same apt i forgot about a cast iron pan on stovetop & mum had to cover it & place in the sink, she got some minor burns. ;-(
    its so easy to forget, thats what scares me..
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    Dancing bean paste bun Ciel's Avatar
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    I most times set the stove's kitchen timer when I put something in to bake in the oven, in the toaster oven or have rice cooking on the stove top when I also want to do something else (collect laundry from the basement or do some other task). Recently I forgot to turn off the timer when the cooking finished earlier and I had turned off the stove. Minutes later, I'm online and hear the timer go off. Yes I forgot the timer but love that it reminded me time was up.

    If I'm aware of Dad using the stove, I make a point to pass by once or twice to see how high the element setting is, if he's near the stove at all (he likes high flames but likes going back to the tv more), and that he deals with spills(most times he won't but if I have cleaned the stovetop recently, I use my temper to get the point across). When he uses the oven, I try to find a reason not to be in the area--there's always an issue with how he uses the oven.
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