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View Point 3. Fire And Safety In the Kitchen ©

November 25, 2012

 

 

This is for Manny, our expert Fireman!

 

QUIZ!!!!!!!  See how high you score on “FIRE AND SAFETY”  It could save yours or someone else’s life one day!

This is one of the most important aspects of Cooking, so please take the trouble to read this and KNOW your FIRE DRILL!

Fire burns, and  smoke can kill you first! Scalding can give you first degree burns!

 

 

FIRE IS VERY FRIGHTENING AND ALWAYS TAKES ONE BY SURPRISE! SO ALWAYS BE PREPARED AND KEEP CALM!

68% of fires begin in the kitchen and it can happen to any one. In my cooking career I have experienced three fires in my kitchen. One from adding alcohol to a sauce,( Oil was too hot .) Two, from an oven fire, dish stand caught fire!  And three, from burning rice! I forgot it on the stove!………. It isn’t until you experience it, that you realise your mistakes!

 

 

FIRE WITHOUT OXYGEN, GOES OUT!……….PUT A LID ON IT! ALWAYS HAVE FIREPROOF OVEN GLOVES TO THE READY!

FIRE FEEDS OFF OXYGEN IN THE AIR!

 

You want to starve your fire of Oxygen, but be careful what you use to do it with! Don’t use something that  burns!

 

 

PREVENTION AND SAFETY RULES: 

1. Always have a specialised  “Kitchen Fire Extinguisher,” specially made for kitchen fires and burning fat, in your kitchen.Check ‘use by’ date. Replenish once used!

2. Always have a fire blanket in your kitchen. ( See photograph.) This is less messy than using an extinguisher and very effective.

 

Keep this blanket in it’s bag close to your Cooking Stove.

Available from all Fire department Stores. Take the trouble to pass by and buy one, BEFORE  you start  Cooking!

Blanket opens out, to 90cm x 90cm in size.

Cover fire with saucepan lid and blanket, or if lid is not available, cover fire with blanket to starve it of Oxygen.

Leave covered until  cool.

 

NEVER BE TEMPTED TO OPEN LID IF YOU SEE SMOKE COMING OUT, OR OPEN THE OVEN DOOR. THE RUSH OF AIR/OXYGEN WILL FEED FIRE. PUT A LID ON IT, BLANKET, OR METAL COVER AND WAIT UNTIL IT COOLS!

 

 

3, Never heat oil or fat with out a ‘tightly fitting’ saucepan lid  and oven gloves at your side. “IN CASE OF FIRE PUT A LID ON IT

4. Never use water to put fire out, it spreads the burning fat in different directions and the fire continues to burn in several different places!

5. TURN ELECTRICITY OFF. Smother fire with lid or blanket, using DRY oven glove. If wet heat can cause hand scalding.

6. Install an extra extractor fan in your kitchen to extract smoke, in case of fire.

7. Install a ‘smoke detector’ in your kitchen. They are not expensive and you change the battery once a year. At least if you leave the kitchen the alarm  will warn you, sooner rather than later. Also available in fire department stores.

8. Buy proper fire proof oven gloves, not those flimsy kind, where the heat passes straight through or Grandma’s knitted ones!!!

9. Take care of scalding when removing lids and pouring hot liquids into colanders and other containers. STEAM BURNS!

 

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

1. Never leave the kitchen while cooking with oil : OIL IS THE BIGGEST DANGER! Once it begins to smoke, 3-4 minutes only! It will soon ignite! Try not to leave the kitchen when cooking as a rule,especially when frying, grilling and broiling. When boiling, baking and roasting, check on food regularly.

Remain focused, the drinking of alcohol, or under medication can lessen your focus! Set timers, or turn appliance off first, BEFORE you leave the kitchen. Classic distraction, the telephone, doorbell, TV or when called away for an emergency.

2.When you ‘Déglace’ a sauce with alcohol, take care that  oil has not become too hot, the flames can burn your face , hair eye lashes and eye brows as you add the alcohol and it instantly bursts into flame. Always have  a lid in your hand while you add any alcohol!

3. Saucepans that go dry from prolonged cooking, or not enough liquid, can also easily burn, rice being a classic example. You come into the kitchen, lid id on and saucepan is smoking! Don’t open or move, turn electricity off and leave to cool.

4. Keeping your stove clean is also important, fat left on the stove can also ignite.

5. Do not over load a plug with multiple attachments.

6. Do not leave things that can burn hanging near or over electrical appliances. Gloves, paper and cloth towels, ornaments, food packaging, plastic bags, dried herbs, onions, garlic hanging near stove.

7. Do not leave unattended, especially with children in the house, Candles, lighters, and matches and lit cigarettes.

8. Do not leave near ovens, inflammable substances such as lighter fuel.

9. Do not cook with clothing that has large open sleeves, hanging cords and ribbons, these can ignite  especially on a gas stove or catch in saucepan handles and bring them down.

10. The breeze from an open window, can cause curtains to blow towards your stove and add oxygen to an already ignited fire.

11. Saucepan handles should always be turned inwards,  not sticking out from the cooker. Take care they are not over other burners! Use back burners as much as possible, especially with children in the house.

12. Do not leave electrical wires, where someone can trip.

13. Keep floor clean and dry, free from liquids, oils and vegetable peelings which could cause one to slip.

14. If something is hot “use the Red Ribbon warning,” and place a length of red ribbon on the hot item,  to avoid other cooks or family in the kitchen, picking up the red hot plate! ( I keep a store of red ribbon in the kitchen drawer, Christmas is an excellent time to replenish.)

15. When using gas, service regularly. Replace gas pipes regularly, once a year and check for leeks by rubbing the tube with soapy water. If bubbles appear it is leaking and needs replacing, do not turn on gas!.IF YOU SMELL GAS, TURN GAS OFF. Get a professional to overhaul your gas equipment, be it cooker or outside Barbecue Grill.

 

Typical Fire Hazards:

Classic Causes of Fire!

 

Keep Focused!

 

QUICK, WHERE IS YOUR LID AND FIRE PROOF OVEN GLOVES!

 

Keep Handles Facing Inwards, but not over other burners!

 

IN CASE OF FIRE: IMMEDIATE ACTION! When in doubt, CALL FIRE BRIGADE!

1. If  smoke is coming from behind a shut kitchen door, feel for heat on the door, if hot, DO NOT OPEN. Check all family members and friends are present. Call Fire brigade.

2. If frying pan or sauce pan go on fire, PUT A LID ON IT, turn off electricity or gas and wait until it cools. Do not be tempted to open lid!

3. If something in oven goes on fire, turn electricity or gas off. Leave to burn out . Only open door when fire is completely out. Have oven checked by a professional before re-using.

Observe rules for Microwave ovens: No metal or tin foil must be used in a Microwave  oven, only specified microwave-safe dishes or containers. Take care when opening packets for steam as you open them, steam burns! Use gloves. Microwaves cook unevenly, so stir food and check again for heat. In case of fire, keep door shut until it goes out. Get professional to check Microwave Oven before using again.

 

4. IF YOUR CLOTHES CATCH FIRE IMMEDIATELY STOP, DROP TO THE GROUND COVER FACE WITH HANDS AND ROLE ON GROUND OVER AND OVER UNTIL FIRE IS OUT: IF FRIEND IS NEAR BY, TELL THEM TO SMOTHER FLAMES WITH FIRE BLANKET. This may seem obvious, but most people tend to run, trying to get away from the fire, thus igniting it more!!!!

 

5. ALWAYS KNOW YOUR “EXITS.”

 

SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS FOR CHILDREN: ( And Grownups!)

1. Saucepan handles must never stick out, where children might reach up and pull handles down on them selves.Use back burners where possible, never leave cooker unattended. Don’t leave hot things near the edge of kitchen surfaces, nor hot things on the table.

2. Electric kettles full of boiling water should have a special “child’ safety harness, so the child can not pull on the electric cable and pull the kettle down. After using the boiling water, please always empty the kettle and really avoid hot teas, coffees and drinks, for a few years, or leave them out of reach.

3. Have a one meter ‘No Zone,’ around the cooker and specifically explain regularly to young children, that the oven can be hot even when it is switched off! To say it once is not enough!

4. Scalding is a great danger in the kitchen for children and while they are learning it is a good idea to have the water thermostat turned down, so the hot water is not piping hot when it comes out of the tap!

5. As soon as children are old enough, teach them the fire precautions and what to do in an emergency. They should distance them selves as quickly as possible from the fire and smoke towards the exit and call for help.

6. Never leave saucepans full of hot liquids on the floor! Or anything hot for that matter!

7. Place all poisonous materials in a cupboard high up, out of the reach of children, especially cleaning materials.

8. Never store something that isn’t what it says it is on the outside. For example, soap powder in the salt jar! Vodka in a water bottle!

9. Keep a bottle of water and tea-towels in a cupboard close to the first aid box and exit, incase of emergencies and make sure every one knows. It should have an indication on the outside of the cupboard.

10. Never hold children in your arms while you are cooking, drinking a hot drink, or carrying hot food or liquid.

11. When your children are old enough teach them “Kitchen Safety.” And supervise them while they are learning.

 

FIRST AID : KEEP FIRST AID BOX IN KITCHEN CUPBOARD! TREAT BURN STRAIGHT AWAY! Also include bottle of water and tea-towel. Have “First Aid written on outside of cupboard door.”

Place burn in a bowl of cool water for 3-5 minutes, until it cools. Avoid using butter, toothpaste, creams and ice!. Keep clean with sterilised loosely fitting gauze or dry clean cloth and go to Emergency room. Blisters caused by burns, should not be popped. Leave them to heal naturally, the blister protects the burn until it heals.

 

THESE INSTRUCTIONS AND IMAGES WILL STAY IN YOUR MEMORY IF YOU HAVE A FIRE IN YOUR KITCHEN!

ALWAYS KEEP CALM. DON’T PANIC!

 

 

GOLDEN RULE: INCASE OF FIRE STARVE FLAMES FROM OXYGEN : USE SAUCEPAN LID OR BLANKET OR EXTINGUISHER AND OVEN GLOVES!

WHEN IN DOUBT TURN ELECTRICS OFF, CLOSE DOORS AND WINDOWS AND CALL FIRE BRIGADE.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anna Costes permalink
    November 30, 2012 12:27 am

    Very comprehensive, Jane! Important to remind ourselves every now and then: THANK YOU!

    Like

    • November 30, 2012 1:15 am

      You are so right! This is exactly what my husband said, who revises safety procedures regularly for his job.
      In an emergency, it is most important to have these things in the for front of ones mind, because shock and panic, need us to know our overdrive well!

      Like

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