Updated on 16th December, 2022 by Martin Astley
Unsurprisingly, a wide range of home emergencies originate in the kitchen. With its high temperatures, sharp objects, food scraps leading to pest control issues, and bacterial contamination issues, the kitchen is likely the most dangerous place in the home.
Approximately half of all accidental house fires originate in the kitchen. Not all of these are preventable – for example, recent years have seen a number of tragic house fires caused by refrigerator breakdowns and overheating appliances – but many are caused by simple errors. Just a few seconds’ negligence could prove devastating.
- Keep tea towels and other flammable items away from gas hobs and other sources of ignition and heat.
- Once ignited, do not leave gas hobs unattended, even for a moment.
- Double-check that you have turned the oven and grill off when you have finished using them. If your oven does not have a fan, be extra careful, as it will not make any noise to alert you that it is still running.
- Make sure that electric leads and cables do not run anywhere that they could be exposed to heat, such as across the gas hobs.
- Don’t put metallic objects such as tins in the microwave.
- Don’t overload your sockets; read our advice about overloading sockets for more information.
- Scrap your chip pan and buy a thermostatic deep-fat fryer; any deep-fat fryer you can buy nowadays will almost certainly be far safer than a chip pan.
- Keep electrical outlets, appliances, and cables away from water and moisture.
- Keep your kitchen clean—empty toast crumbs from the toaster, clean any grease and fat from the grill pan, and keep the room organised.
- Invest in a fire blanket and learn how to use it to combat grease and fat fires.
- Never throw water on a grease or fat fire.
- Buy smoke alarms, fit them properly, and test them regularly.
Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless gas that is created through incomplete combustion. Gas appliances, when properly serviced and maintained, do not pose a carbon monoxide risk, but if they start to release the gas, the consequences can be devastating.
- Many kitchens have gas boilers. If your boiler is in your kitchen, make sure that it is properly ventilated and that its flues and vents are clear of blockages and debris.
- Arrange for a Gas Safe engineer to inspect your boiler and other gas appliances every year. If you have boiler cover through us, we will take care of this gas safety check for you.
- Keep your gas hobs clean; although they are not as likely to lead to carbon monoxide poisoning as a boiler breakdown, burnt food can release carbon monoxide when heated up.
- Know what to do if you suspect someone has carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors. Regular smoke alarms do not detect carbon monoxide.
- Understand the warning signs of carbon monoxide, namely yellow flames rather than crisp blue flames, condensation, sootiness, and black patches.
247 Home Rescue accepts no liability for any injuries or damages you sustain following the advice on this website. If in doubt, seek professional assistance.