Stoves are one of the most frequently used appliances in the home. Whether you're looking for a quick meal or preparing a feast for the family, the stove is usually the preferred cooking method. Like any device with a heating element, though, you need to use caution and practice good safety measures when using it; otherwise, you could inadvertently start a fire, which is something no one wants to see happen. Here we'll take a look at some basic safety tips to remember when using a stove.
House fires are more common than you probably think. According to some statistics, there were an estimated 370,000 house fires in the U.S. alone. These numbers are shocking to say the least, but hopefully they are an eye-opener to families everywhere. Just because you haven't seen a house fire first-hand doesn't mean you are immune from them.
Don't Leave Stove Unattended
The number one rule when it comes to cooking food on the stove is to never leave your stove unattended. Even if you are simply boiling water, you should still stay close by while it's on the burner. All it takes is a split second for a fire start and spread throughout the rest of the house. However, if you are there to see it, you can hopefully stop it in a timely manner.
Of course there will be times when you're forced to leave the kitchen to use the restroom or run down to the convenience store to pick up another ingredient. If you must leave the kitchen, find a friend or family member to watch over the stove until you come back. Chances are they will be more than happy to keep and eye on your stove and kitchen in exchange for some of the delicious food you're cooking!
Let's hope a fire never breaks out in your kitchen, but if it does, you need to be ready for it. For starters, this means having a fire extinguisher that's easy to access. However, you should also have a backup plan in case your fire extinguisher goes out or stops working properly. One of the best all-around methods for smothering a fire is to sprinkle baking soda on it. Doing so naturally coats the burning surface, preventing it from receiving the oxygen it needs to burn. In the event of a grease fire, never use water as it will only make it worse, but instead sprinkle some baking soda over the grease to stop it in its tracks.