Prep your space
The kitchen is often the heart of any good meal. Like any chef knows, a clean and prepped workspace is the key to efficiency and safety. Keep your cooking surfaces, including stove hoods, burners, and oven clean and free of grease build up — a major fire hazard. Corral other potentially flammable kitchen supplies like dish rags and utensils, far away from cooking surfaces. When you’re organizing the kitchen, make sure other hazards, such as matches, are securely stored away from children.
When your masterpiece is coming together, make sure to turn the pot handles away from the edge of the stove to avoid knocking them down – this is key when they’re hot and fully loaded. If you’ve got small children in the house, this also keeps kids from grabbing onto a hot pan, potentially tipping scalding liquids out.
Whether it’s a blender or a toaster, electrical appliances have the potential to start fires, so regularly inspect them. Make sure the cords are in good shape, and that there’s no fraying or cracking. Clean any leaks, crumbs, or other food residue that may impact the appliance’s function. While you’re at it, unplug appliances when you’re not using them, and make sure they’re stored away from curious kids.
Come summer, the barbecue becomes everyone’s favourite extension of the kitchen. If you’re heading outside to fire up the grill, make sure it’s clean (from previous cooking and critters), and that the fuel circuit is tight-fitting. Cooking outside is just like indoors — watch your meal, keep the area free of flammable items, and keep kids away from hot surfaces.
Prep yourself for success
Before you start cooking tie back your hair, cuff your sleeves and secure loose clothing so that it can’t brush up against an element, potentially catching fire. If your clothing does light up, stop, drop, and roll immediately. While you may want to set the vibe with some ambient candlelight, make sure to keep them away from flammable items and blow them out before you leave the room; there’s nothing like a smoke alarm to ruin the mood.