When you live alone, it can be easy to forget little things. After all, there’s no one around to remind you of important details like turning off the stove when you leave the house.
But that kind of oversight could lead to an incredibly scary situation. Imagine coming home to a massive fire because you forgot about a pot on the stove! Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to mitigate the risk.
With all this, you may be wondering what to do if you accidentally left the gas stove on without flame.
Whether or not you live alone, following these best practices can go a long way toward preventing a disastrous kitchen fire. Read on to learn more…
Lock stove and oven doors when not in use
When you aren’t using your kitchen stove and oven, it’s important to lock the doors. Such simple acts give you muscle memory and a habit of keeping everything off after using..
There are also locking devices available that can prevent accidental starts or fires even if you don’t have an extended power outage. These devices each have a special code so they can be disabled when necessary.
Check the stove before you leave the house
Before you leave the house, make sure that the stove is completely turned off and that nothing is left simmering on its burners. When you’re done cooking, check the stove’s knobs to make sure that they’re set at “off.”
That way you don’t have to worry about coming home to a burning kitchen. With that said, you can go one step further and try always to double-check that the stove has actually shut off. It doesn't hurt to check twice.
When you turn the stove off, you can hold a burning matchstick over it to confirm that it is not leaking gas. This is also one of the few ways to check if your gas has a leak. Cooking gas has a unique smell that you can detect the presence of gas leaks as well.
Install a CO detector
Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas that can build up when there is a malfunction with a fuel-burning appliance, like a gas stove. If left untreated, CO poisoning can cause flu-like symptoms, confusion, dizziness, headaches, and even death.
Because CO is colorless and odorless, people often don’t know if they’re being poisoned. To protect yourself, install a CO detector near your kitchen. You can also buy a CO detector that plugs into the wall.
You should test your CO detector periodically to make sure that it’s working properly. If it isn’t, replace it immediately. And if you have a detection device plugged into the wall, don’t forget to unplug it when you leave the house.
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Have a fire extinguisher on hand
No one wants a kitchen fire to break out while they’re making dinner. But it happens more often than you might think.
Thankfully, fire extinguishers like this one can help put out the flames quickly and efficiently. If you have young children in the house, it’s best to purchase a multipurpose CO/fire extinguisher.
That way, you only need to stock one device in your kitchen and you can rest assured that it will put out any type of fire. If you ever have a fire in your kitchen, take action immediately. Use the extinguisher to put out the flames, and then unplug the offending appliance.
Next, open all of your windows to get the smoke out of your home as quickly as possible.
Turn on your kitchen’s exhaust fan when cooking
If you’re going to be cooking something on your stove, be sure to turn on your kitchen exhaust fan. Otherwise, the heat and steam generated by your stove’s burners could build up and cause a fire.
You might also consider getting a stove hood if you notice that steam is building up in your kitchen. A stove hood hooks up to your exhaust fan to prevent steam from accumulating too heavily in your kitchen.
When you have a stove hood, you should be sure to clean it regularly to avoid buildup. You also want to make sure that it’s on properly before you start cooking.
The kitchen is likely the heart of any home. That’s probably why there are so many stories about kitchen fires — after all, people are cooking and baking in their kitchens every day.
To avoid a fire, keep an eye on the stove and oven, lock the doors when they’re not in use, and don’t forget to test your carbon monoxide detector. With these precautions in place, your kitchen should be a safe and enjoyable place to be.