If you have kids, and they are anything like my kids, they love fresh, homemade cookies. So, some nights, I take off my insurance hat and put on my chef hat to make a baked treat for the kids. Dad for the win!
But, what I have learned since being in the insurance industry is that cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. In fact, kitchen fires are a significant safety problem. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that approximately 172,000 home fires occur each year, which is on average 471 cooking fires per day. These terrible incidents result in over 530 deaths each year and approximately $1.1 billion in property damage.
So, as your trusted insurance advisor, there are a few “recipes” for safe cooking that I would like to share with you:
Experts recommend having a working smoke detector, which should be located near the kitchen area so that a cooking fire is detected right away.
It is important to have a fully functioning fire extinguisher – which is designed for kitchen use – located in an easily retrievable area in the kitchen.
The National Fire Protection Association also recommends keeping a potholder, oven mitt, and/or lid nearby your stove. In case of a grease fire, carefully slide one of these over the pan that is on fire. Turn off the burner and leave covered until the fire is out and the pan has completely cooled.
Probably the most important tip I can offer is this – If in doubt, just get out! Do not put yourself or your loved ones in jeopardy if there is a house fire. If it is not easily distinguishable, leave the premises, call 911 and do not re-enter your home until your dwelling is declared safe by the fire department.
For oven and microwave fires (yes, your microwave can be set on fire too), do not ever open the door. Why? For one, this will expose you to the flames. In addition, when you open up the door, oxygen will enter, which will fuel the fire.
So, if you do see flames in your oven or microwave, turn off and unplug the appliance. Then, call the fire department. Please do not use the device again until it has been properly cleaned and serviced.
And, as always, if you have any questions or sustained damage, please don’t hesitate to contact any of us at Langlois Insurance Agency immediately at #815-485-2106. We always love to hear from our customers!