How many times has it happened to you, or have you heard of it happening to someone. You’ve got supper on the go and the something happens to distract you, the phone rings, the kids get into something or a surprise visitor pops in. Next thing you know suppers burnt, the pots boiled dry or in extreme circumstances you have a real kitchen fire on your hands.
Now imagine that you are elderly, perhaps even with early onset Alzheimer’s. Becoming distracted and forgetting what you are doing with even the slightest distraction becomes a very real possibility. Ever year preventable kitchen fires are started with thousands of dollars in damage being caused from the smoke alone. There are a few steps you can take to greatly lessen the chances of a disastrous kitchen fire happening to you.
1. This may seem almost to obvious, but it is an incredibly common cause of kitchen fires. DON’T LEAVE THE KITCHEN. If you remain in the kitchen the odds of you forgetting the stove is on are much less than if you are in another room. Also if something does start to go wrong you are right there to stop it immediately. If you have to leave the kitchen make sure to turn the stove and burners off when you do.
2. Oil fires are nasty, there’s no two ways about it. If you are cooking with oil make sure before you even turn the oven that you have the tools to put out an oil fire should one start. Remember, water is the last thing to splash on an oil fire. Either have a properly fitting lid nearby to smother any fire should it start or an appropriate fire extinguisher for grease fires.
3. Purchase a device to monitor your stove and help control it. If you own an electric range style stove the Stove Guard is an incredibly easy system to install. You mount the included motion sensor in the kitchen and plug its power control into the outlet where your stove currently plugs in. Than plug your stove back into the power control box. You simply program the “brain” of the unit to monitor motion in the kitchen, when it does not detect motion for your specified time period it will shut off the power flow through its’ power control box instantly turning off your stove and oven.
4. If a fire has started know your limits, call for help the instant you think it may be beyond a fire you can easily suppress. That is what neighbors and the fire department are there for.