Jeffrey Harrington's Blog
Many homeowners are unaware that the most common causes of house fires are cooking related. According to data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking fires cause 46% of house fires and 44% of household injuries.
You aren’t alone if you think those numbers are shockingly high. However, most of us are never taught cooking safety techniques. In this article, we’re going to give you some tips to protect you and your family from the most common and some lesser known causes of kitchen fires.
Cooking fire statistics
Knowing the most common causes of cooking fires is a great way to understand just how dangerous certain types of cooking really are. The NFPA reports that frying is the most dangerous type of cooking. Two-thirds of cooking fires were the result of the ignition of food and cooking materials.
In terms of equipment, the range or cooktop is the most dangerous part of the kitchen, causing over 60% of fires. However, much of the time the cause comes down to leaving your equipment unattended.
One of the most important things you can do to reduce the risk of house fires is to stay in the kitchen while you’re cooking. Unattended ranges, stovetops, and ovens can be particularly deadly since they can happen as a result of someone dozing off while watching television, or someone forgetting they left a burner on after they go to sleep.
A good way to monitor your cooking is to always use a timer, even if you don’t necessarily need one for the cooking that you’re doing. Also, be sure that your smoke detectors are working and that you have a functional fire extinguisher in your home. Make sure your family knows what to do if they encounter a fire.
Before you turn on your burners before frying, make sure there is nothing around your oven that can catch fire. A food container, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper towels, or curtains could all potentially catch fire if they come in close contact with a burner.
Clothing is also a leading cause of kitchen fires that turn fatal. Make sure sleeves and other pieces of clothing aren’t near any burners or open flames.
In case of fire
If you encounter a large cooking fire that is spreading throughout, the best thing to do is to immediately gather your family and get out of the house, avoiding the kitchen entirely. Call 9-1-1 as soon as you are safely outside and don’t re-enter the house under any circumstances.
For small grease fires, smother the fire with a lid and turn off the burner immediately.
Understanding cooking fires
Most fire requires oxygen to burn and spread. If there is a small fire in your kitchen, using a soaked towel or a pan lid to smother it will suffice.
However, grease fires work differently. Never put water on a grease fire, this can cause the fire to spread very quickly. Rather, use a lid to put out the fire if it is small enough to get near. You can also throw baking soda, or use a fire extinguisher on a small grease fire.
If you've bought a home that includes kitchen appliances, you may need to sell your current appliances before moving day. Fortunately, if you host a garage sale, you can sell a wide range of kitchen appliances in no time at all.
Some of the most popular kitchen appliances to sell at a garage sale include:
In many instances, a homebuyer will request a refrigerator in a home offer. And if the seller accepts this proposal, a property buyer may need to get rid of his or her current refrigerator quickly.
Selling your refrigerator during your garage sale offers several benefits. First, you may be able to earn several hundred dollars for your refrigerator if it looks and performs great. You also can sell your refrigerator before your move, thereby eliminating the risk that you'll have to relocate this large, heavy appliance to your new address.
Evaluate the age and condition of your refrigerator prior to pricing it. That way, you can establish a competitive price for your appliance.
In addition, spend some time cleaning your refrigerator's interior and exterior. This will increase the likelihood that your refrigerator will stir up interest from garage sale shoppers.
Although your kitchen microwave has served you well for many years, you likely have no need for two microwaves at your new address. Luckily, you can sell your current microwave now to earn extra cash prior to moving day.
Many microwaves are available, and as such, you'll want to learn as much as possible about your microwave. This will enable you to provide garage sale shoppers with plenty of information about your microwave's features.
Don't forget to test and clean your microwave before you add it to your garage sale inventory. By doing so, you can guarantee your microwave performs correctly and looks outstanding when you try to sell it during your garage sale.
Your toaster has been a mainstay in your kitchen, but there may be no time like the present to sell it.
Remove crumbs and other food particles from your toaster as soon as possible. These particles can affect a toaster's performance, and in some instances, create fire hazards.
Furthermore, wipe down your toaster's exterior. An in-depth toaster cleaning will help you generate interest in your appliance during your garage sale.
Kitchen appliances usually are in high demand among garage sale shoppers. If you dedicate the necessary time and resources to clean and maintain these items, you should have no trouble selling them at a garage sale.
Lastly, if you plan to buy a home in the near future, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can keep you up to date about new homes as they hit the market and help you submit offers on houses. Plus, a real estate agent will make it easy to plan ahead for a pre-moving day garage sale and ensure you can enjoy a seamless transition from one address to another.
Have you ever watched a home television show and found yourself admiring the size of a kitchen? It’s easy to get drawn to tall, wide cherry wood kitchen cabinets, the type of cabinets that go from just below the ceiling to a foot above the kitchen sink. Before you know it, you’re actually counting the cabinets. You may also start to wish that your home had those very same kitchen cabinets.
Then, there’s the trendy kitchen island, stylish marble designs adding a welcomed décor to a kitchen. Wide bay windows bring in lots of natural sunlight. Rare ceramic or tile floor colors and designs truly set a kitchen apart, as do spacious pantries that are hidden behind a simple kitchen door.
These habits could make you hate your kitchen
Keep watching those home television shows and you might miss a lot of good in your house. You might start creating a mental list of “what I wish I had in my house” items. One of those items could quickly become the wish for a larger kitchen. But, a larger kitchen may not solve your space and design wants.
Certain personal habits could make a large kitchen too small for you. What you do regularly in your kitchen could also tarnish the appeal of the room. Among those habits are:
- Not taking full advantage of the existing storage space in your kitchen – Loosely stack pots, pans, kitchen utensils and food boxes in your kitchen and you could lose a quarter of the space in your kitchen cabinets.
- Using your kitchen pantry as a place to store your washer and dryer – In addition to making your kitchen feel too small, if you put your washer and dryer in your pantry, your kitchen could feel too hot and stuffy during spring and summer months.
- Leaving expired or outdated canned foods in cabinets and cupboards
- Using your kitchen counters as a storage area for automotive, household cleaning and reading products
- Piling dirty or recently washed laundry on kitchen counters or on the floor in kitchen corners
- Allowing pets to turn your kitchen into a play area
- Limiting your dining room to a place that you only use during major holidays
Wide, open kitchen floor space gives you more room to cook, especially if you love to cook from scratch, using plenty of earth grown seasonings, spices and grains. This space can seem hard to come by if your house has a small kitchen. Yet, moving may not completely solve your kitchen space challenges, especially if you fill empty space at your house with decorations, boxes and clutter.
Do this and even a bigger kitchen may feel too small. Similar to how people who live in small homes learn to make the most of each square foot of space at their residence, train yourself to value and get the most from your entire kitchen. Make smart kitchen storage decisions. Prepare meals in your dining room and cook them in the kitchen. By not limiting cooking to your kitchen, you can see how your current kitchen can meet all of your food preparation needs.