Cooking is the number one cause of fires. No matter if you are at home or at your workplace. It also is one of the leading causes of burns. So practicing good Fire Safety inside the kitchen is imperative. You can achieve this through knowledge and having the right Fire Safety Tools. In this article, we will unpack the best practices and the tools you will need.
Class K Fires
Class K fires are fires that happen in the kitchen, which are often grease fires. These can be very dangerous because they cannot be put out with water like a class A fire. However, just like any fire, if you take away part of the fire triangle, the fire will collapse. The fire triangle comprises Fuel, Heat, and Oxygen. We can’t use water to take away the Heat, but we can take away the Oxygen by putting a lid on it or putting baking soda on the fire. Another way to slow down the fire would be turning off the stovetop, which would take away the Fuel.
Fire Safety Practices for the Kitchen
When cooking in the kitchen, you should think back to everything your mom told you to do and you will be off to a good start. Simple things like turning your pot handles in and keeping the lid nearby in case you need to smother a fire are great tips that go a long way.
A few other kitchen fire safety tips are:
- Don’t leave a running stove unattended
- Actively supervise any kids in the area or have a kid free zone
- Don’t wear long sleeves or anything else that might droop down onto the stove
- Keep any combustible materials away from the cooking area
Cooking Fire Safety Tools
There are some great tools out there to help with Fire Safety in the kitchen. Here are some you should consider.
Stove Top Fire Suppression Unit (StoveTop FireStop or Auto-Out)
This is a great way to keep your family safe while cooking. Basically, this is a can of baking soda that you can place with a magnet above your stove. It is triggered by using a fuse, so if fire reaches the bottom of the canister, it will automatically dispense over the fire — putting the fire out by smothering it with baking soda.
Where to Buy a Stove Top Fire Suppression Unit
There are two major brands that work exactly the same and both have great reviews. Both are sold in pairs, and each canister can cover two burners.
Kitchen Fire Extinguisher
A fire extinguisher is another great way to put out a kitchen fire, but what type of fire extinguisher do you need? There are 5 classes of fire which are A – Ordinary Combustibles, B- Flammable Liquids, C – Electrical, D – Metals, and K Kitchen. There are fire extinguishers designed for each class of fire. You can get a class ABC fire extinguisher that covers A, B, and C classes of fire. While the Class ABC Extinguisher can put out a grease fire, it is best to use a Class K Fire Extinguisher if you have it. The reason for this is that class ABC extinguishers generally have more pressure and therefore lead to spraying the grease up some. Either way, make sure to use the extinguisher from a safe distance.
Where to Buy A Fire Extinguisher
If you are buying it for your facility, make sure to get one that meets the qualifications for your fire marshal. However, if you are getting it for home, you do not have any specific regulations, so you have more flexibility.
- Buy an easy-to-use spray can fire extinguisher here
- Buy a small but more traditional fire extinguisher here
- Buy a full size fire extinguisher here
- Buy a small kitchen fire extinguisher here
- Buy a full size kitchen fire extinguisher here
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
In your kitchen you should have a photoelectric smoke detector, because burning food often burns with a lot of smoke and not as much fire at first. If you have an ionization alarm, then it might not sound until it is too late.
If you have gas appliances, you must also have a carbon monoxide detector. Without one, if there is a gas leak somewhere, it could kill you without a warning. This is because you can’t smell, see, or hear this gas. Having a carbon monoxide detector will give you the warning you need. If you have electric appliances, then you are at lower risk, but it is still a good idea.
We talk much more about this in our article and buyer guide on the different types of smoke detectors, so check out our article, What Type of Smoke Alarm Do I Need to learn more.
What Happens If You Get Burned in the Kitchen?
While we hope you don’t ever get burned in the kitchen, knowing what to do if it does happen is important. It is important to know what degree of burn you are working with, so check out the infographic below, but in most cases you will just submerge the burned area under cool, drinkable water until you don’t feel any pain or heat. This can take around 10 mins. Once you don’t feel any pain or heat, then dry it off with a towel and wrap it up in a sterile bandage to keep it protected.
If it is black/charred or white and leathery, then that is a third-degree burn. In this case, you must call 911 immediately and do not put it under water unless the 911 operator advises you to do so.