The kitchen is many people’s favourite room; it’s where many of us socialise, chat and, of course, eat the most.
However, it’s also the most dangerous place in the home when it comes to accidents involving heat and flames.
7,000 injured each year
Figures from the Government’s Fire Safety Advice Centre show that around 7,000 householders are injured in kitchen-related fires each year, with a small number of deaths too.
So kitchen safety is not to be taken lightly; as the BBC reports, 60% of all house fires begin in one.
Home insurance and house fires
In the vast majority of cases, you’re going to be covered by your home insurance for the damage a fire may cause.
However, unfortunately if you’re found to be at fault in causing a fire, your home insurance may not cover the incident; you may have left the oven on while out, for example.
Additionally, some home cover policies insist on regular gas and electric safety inspections, often involving boilers, gas hobs and other appliances which are in the kitchen.
So not only is how you use and maintain your kitchen vital for reasons of personal safety, it also is for financial reasons.
Kitchen safety and maintenance tips
Here are a number of tips for using your kitchen safely and maintaining it properly:
- Smoke alarms – These are vital. Make sure you get them fitted in the kitchen as well as throughout the home (don’t forget, most injury and death caused by fires is due to smoke)
- Ventilation on cookers – Make sure any ventilation for the cooker isn’t blocked.
- Boilers – Many household boilers are located in the kitchen. It’s very wise to have yours checked and serviced annually by a qualified gas engineer.
- Ovens – Never leave them on if you go out, and preferably get them checked occasionally by a qualified tradesman.
- Clean the oven – A build up and excess of grease and food bits can start to burn.
- Toasters – Keep toasters away from curtains and plastic items. Preferably keep them away from taps and water.
- Microwaves – It goes without saying, but never put anything metallic inside a microwave.
- Electrical sockets – Don’t overload electrical sockets with adaptors and extensions, and if they’re fixed too close to taps, have them moved.
- Washing machines and tumble dryers – Don’t leave these on overnight, or even, preferably, if you leave the house.
- Deep fat fryers – Deep fat fryers cause a very high number of household fires. Never fill one more than around a third full, and try and ensure you have one which is thermostatically controlled and switches itself off once the oil reaches a non-safe temperature.
- Hot fat – Whether the fat is in a frying pan or a deep fat fryer, never throw water over it.
If your home is your haven, you’ll want it to have the best protection. Compare home insurance quotes from our range of handpicked insurers and tailor a policy to suit you. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us.
Published 15 March 2017