October is National Fire Prevention Month. So, while schools are having their fire drills and work places are busy assigning their floor fire wardens, or whatever they’re calling them now, we should take a minute to assess our home fire safety precautions.
You know how they say plumbers have the leakiest pipes at home, doctor’s families never go for checkups, and landscapers have the worst yards, etc? Well, fire familes (ok, this fire family) is not always the best at taking fire prevention precautions.
Roughly 75% of all structure fires occur in a residence. Half of those originate in the kitchen.
The biggest fire safety tip – order more takeout.
Here are the top 5 fire safety tips for the kitchen to keep in mind this month, and always – and why I should be fired from my job:
- Do not spray cooking spray into a pot or pan over an open flame. Aerosol spray. Open flame. Not a good combination – ever. Those non-stick cooking sprays are a great low calorie alternative to butter and oil when cooking. I use them all the time when making pancakes and eggs. I also tend to spray directly into the pan while it’s sitting on the stove top. Bad, bad, bad firewife. Here’s the kicker – I’m conscious of it enough to not do it in front of the Officer to save myself the lecture. But, if the cat’s away, then I will spray.
- Clean ovens and stovetops of grease and grime. A clean stove and oven isn’t just aesthetically pleasing, but can also prevent kitchen grease fires, which, you don’t ever douse with water. This is my oven. Pretty gross. Definitely not grease-free. For those of you who have eaten at my house, I’m sorry you had to see this. On the upside, it’s evident I haven’t used any of those harsh chemical cleaners in the oven that could transfer to the food. That’s something, right?
- Stay in the kitchen while stove and oven on. Way easier said then done, especially with young ones. You get a pot going on the stove for dinner, next thing you know there’s a loud crash and screams from the next room. How many times has this happened? Or, the dryer beeps and you decide to multitask and get a quick laundry fold in while you wait for the water to boil? I rarely ever have a chance to stay in the kitchen the entire time dinner is cooking.
- Be watchful of loose clothing. This one I’m actually good at – sort of. When around the stove burner, you should push your sleeves up, and be mindful of any loose and flowing hemlines and you’re reaching over pots and moving about. I’m usually dressed in a tee shirt around the house, so I’ve got the sleeve thing covered. Woo-hoo! Score one point for me!
- Be mindful of cooking tools and towels around the stove. I’ll admit, I could be better at this one. When you’ve got a potholder in one hand, and a spoon in the other, and you need to pull one kid off the other, it’s very easy in your aggravation that, once again, you have to send them to neutral corners, to just drop what you’re holding without thinking. It’s in that moment that disaster can strike if you’re (read: I’m) not paying attention.
So, as the old saying goes…
Do as I say, not as I do.
Be safe. Be mindful. Feed your family, but be mindful while doing so. And, when in doubt, order in.