During this holiday season, people everywhere are in the kitchen, working up home cooked meals for family and friends. It's crucial to be aware of potential fire hazards, especially during the holiday season. Too many cooks in the kitchen could lead to an interruption in all the festivities. Did you know that cooking is the leading cause of home structure fires in the US, accounting for nearly half (49 percent) of incidents?

At JGB Restorations, we believe in taking proactive steps to ensure the safety of your kitchen. Let's delve into some practical tips that not only make your kitchen a safer space but also help avoid fire risks during the festive holiday season.

1. Keep an Eye on the Stove

First and foremost, never leave your stove unattended. Whether you're stepping away for a quick moment or getting caught up in a phone call, an unattended stove dramatically increases the risk of fire. Most kitchen fires stem from simple carelessness. Don't become a statistic! Keep a watchful eye on your pots and pans on the burner. If life interrupts the cooking, turn off the heat before you answer the door or take that call. Remember, a moment of distraction leads to disaster, so stay vigilant, or call in a family member to take over for you if you have to step away.

2. Handle Heat with TLC

Heat is your cooking ally, but it turns into a fiery foe if not managed properly. If you're working with grease, exercise extra caution. Grease fires ignite in the blink of an eye if the temperature gets too high. Rule of thumb: avoid cranking up the heat to the max when cooking with grease. Also, never attempt to put out a grease fire with water. Instead, turn off the heat, cover the pan with a metal lid, and smother the flames. Keep baking soda handy – it works wonders, too. If you see smoke rising, don't panic. Turn off the heat immediately. It's better to have slightly undercooked food than deal with a full-blown fire emergency.

3. Clear the Runway for Your Stovetop

Your stovetop should resemble a clean and organized runway, not a cluttered mess. Remove anything flammable from the area pronto! Pot holders, kitchen towels, and even utensils become unsuspecting kindling if they get too close to the heat. While it may seem like common sense, remember: don't use your stovetop as a storage space. Food packaging and paper towels should never find a home on the burner. Keep it clear, and you steer clear of kitchen infernos.

4. Dress Smart for Cooking

Your kitchen fashion should prioritize safety over style. We know you want to wow your guests, but those loose-fitting or flowy sleeves are potential fire hazards. Avoid wearing anything that could get tangled in a pan or decide to take a dive into the heat source.

5. Arm Yourself with Firefighting Tools

Having a fire extinguisher within arm's reach is a must for every kitchen. Since a grease fire should be handled differently than a normal fire, it may be harder to act quickly in these types of kitchen fires. Regardless of the type of fire you're dealing with, a fire extinguisher diminishes the flame. Before pulling the trigger, make sure you know how to use it! Watch a video tutorial or even buy extra; practice with one so you're ready in case of an emergency.

At JGB Restorations, we want your kitchen experiences to be filled with joy, especially during the holiday season. By implementing these simple yet essential tips, you not only ensure a safe cooking environment but also focus on the joy of creating home-cooked meals for your loved ones. So, go ahead, indulge in your culinary delights, and relish the satisfaction of a well-protected kitchen! If you do need fire damage assistance during the holidays, contact our emergency restoration team at JGB Restoration!