Not surprisingly, many fires that take place within homes start in the kitchen. Cooking is something that many people enjoy doing, but there are a number of risks that come along with it. Any time you turn your oven on or start up one of the burners on your stove, there’s a chance that a fire could start, which is why you need to be extra careful when you are in the kitchen. Check out a few of the common causes of kitchen fires below.
Unattended Cooking Equipment
According to a report released by the National Fire Protection Association, about 33 percent of all kitchen fires between 2010 and 2014 started as a result of unattended cooking equipment. Walking away from cooking equipment when you’re using it or turning your attention away from it for even just a moment to check your phone or talk to a family member can be catastrophic.
About two-thirds of all kitchen fires that took place between 2010 and 2014 started as a result of the ignition of food, according to the NFPA. Obviously, some foods will catch on fire more easily than others. But the majority of fires that start in the kitchen begin after food goes up in flames.
The NFPA didn’t release any official statistics related to frying, but the organization did point out that frying foods “dominates the cooking fire problem.” Any time you decide to fry food, you need to be very careful because hot oil can cause big problems for those working in the kitchen.
While clothing is usually not the first thing to catch on fire during a kitchen fire—less than 1 percent of all kitchen fires between 2010 and 2014 started with the ignition of clothing, according to the NFPA—clothing is to blame for a large number of kitchen fire-related deaths. Clothing ignitions led to almost 20 percent of all of the fire deaths related to cooking equipment.
As you can see, fires can start in kitchens for any number of reasons. Something as simple as taking your eyes off a pot of food on the stove can turn into a tragedy, making it essential that you have the fire suppression system in place.