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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Kelly's Korner - Kitchen Fires

Hey, All,

I was cruising the web for ideas for this blog and came across this tidbit that I'd thought I'd pass along.

Did you know that unattended cooking is the number one contributor to home fires in the US?  Wow.  I mean, how could that happen?  You are always there in the kitchen, right?  Whoops, the doorbell rings and no one else is available to answer it.  Gotta go answer a call of nature - only going to take a sec, right?  Kids get into a major tussle and you're the only referee available.  Great grandma decides she's going to make some soup and then forgets what's she's doing and leaves the kitchen.  Kids decide they're going to "help" Mom and cook they're own dinner.

All recipes for disaster, right?  The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) announced in October that they have a plan to help reduce the potential for unattended cooking fires. This will encompass all cooktops and ranges - not only conventional coil tops, but gas, glass and induction.

There are several things you can do to reduce the chances of a cooking fire.  First of all would be to KEEP AN EYE ON WHAT YOU'RE DOING!  Do not ever leave things on the stovetop without turning off the burner and removing whatever you have off the cooktop.  You don't really need to turn the burners onto HIGH - it may take a bit longer, but lower settings will cook just as well.  Teach your children kitchen safety.  Make sure there is a fire extinguisher handy and in good working condition and everyone knows how to use it.  Many times just putting a lid on the pan that's flared up will kill the flames.  Dumping baking soda on flames works also.  DON'T EVER PUT WATER ON A KITCHEN FIRE!!!  If the fire is grease-based water will only spread the flames and you never put water on anything electric.  Call 911 immediately and get everyone out of the house if you have a fire.  Even if you get it put out, there may be other factors involved and your heroic firefighters will check everything out.

Now if you have a conventional coil range or cooktop, WL May has a solution for you now.  We have a product call Safe T Elements that can be installed on most stoves.  What this kit is are cast iron plates attached to the elements that are hooked up to a computer board that regulates the temperature of the burners.  You can actually put a piece of paper between the burner and your pan and turn it on and the paper will not burn but your water will still be boiling.  These are great in any kitchen - especially if you have children or elderly people who are a bit forgetful.  I know that many multi-family complexes are installing these.  They do need to be installed by a qualified technician and we can help you with that.  Cost of this kit is approximately $190 suggested retail, not including installation, and come in either 2 and 2 or 3 and 1 configurations (2 large and 2 small burners or 3 small and 1 large).  Isn't this a small cost to pay for the peace of mind of not having your home and loved ones endangered by a house fire?

The first of the year is a great time to check all fire extinguishers and batteries on your smoke detectors.  Get yours checked now!

Have a great (and safe!) week!

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