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The Various Types Of Kitchen Fires

By Owen Jones_

The kitchen is not the most hazardous room in the house, the living room is, but most severe accidents are liable to happen in the kitchen (or on the stairs). Roughly 18,000 people in the United States experience injuries in home fires every year and fire is the biggest cause of unintentional death in children. In this article, we will take a look at the origins and types of kitchen fires.

One of the problems is time. None of us seems to have enough of it, so often we end up trying to do two or three things at the same time. If one of those is frying or just using the cooker and you forget about it while you are busy with something else, you can have a nasty accident. But if you happen to leave the house when it occurs and there is no one else at home, then you will probably have a serious problem.

There are a couple of types of kitchen fires, but the most common of them is when scraps of food spilled on the cooker catch fire. This can also arise in a grimy oven that has been left on for too long or when a pan boils dry and the food that was cooking dries out and catches fire.

These types of kitchen fires are not usually dangerous, but they are a big nuisance because they leave an awful smell in the house for weeks. The smell gets into every fabric in the house and a thorough cleaning is essential to get rid of it. It could leave black smelly smoke marks on every surface it touches, but particularly on the ceiling above the stove. Often it is necessary to redecorate the kitchen. Often these small fires could have been prevented by keeping the cooker clean.

It is a totally different matter when greasy or oily foodstuffs catch fire. These types of kitchen fires are really dangerous, because once the oil reaches a certain temperature it practically explodes out of the pan.

This type of fire can easily destroy a kitchen or burn a house down and even kill all its occupants. Fat, grease and oil fires spread so rapidly, because they are exceedingly hot. The oil boils over and spreads and there is frequently a thick, black oily cloud of smoke as well.

Chip pan fires are notoriously dangerous, particularly if the pan is put on to ‘warm up’ while you go off to do something else. Revellers are sometimes killed in their sleep, because they have come home tipsy and hungry. They would like some chips and put the pan on the heat to warm up. They go to put a film on to watch with their meal and fall asleep. And they never wake up on Earth again.

Never, ever try to cook anything more than a sandwich when you are drunk or tired. You can tackle a small fire by turning off the heat source and depriving the fire of oxygen with a cooking pan lid or a damp tea towel. Never try to extinguish a fat fire with water.

If the fire is in danger of getting out of hand or you even if you merely think it might do, call the fire brigade. You might also shout for help from a neighbour. If it is a very serious fire, you should get everybody out of the house and caution the neighbours anyway.

If you have ever witnessed a chip pan fire, you will never be without an appropriate fire extinguisher, but better still get one beforehand anyway. Check that the extinguisher is of the correct type.

Owen Jones, the author of this piece writes on quite a few topics, but is at present concerned with built in cookers. If you would like to know more or check out some great offers, please go to our website at Electric Freestanding Cooker.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Jones_, Owen "The Various Types Of Kitchen Fires." The Various Types Of Kitchen Fires. 11 Jul. 2010. 27 Dec 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Jones_, O (2010, July 11). The Various Types Of Kitchen Fires. Retrieved December 27, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Jones_, Owen "The Various Types Of Kitchen Fires"

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