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House on fireThe kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the house. It's where cooking, eating, dish washing and family interaction occurs. Because it has many heat sources and is the hub of family activity, it's also where most home fires start. Avoid kitchen fires by observing these six safety tips.

1. Use Cooking Oil with Care

When cooking with oil, heat it up gradually and keep the lid next to the pan. If a fire starts, place the lid on the pan and turn off the heat. Wait until the pan has cooled before removing the lid. Never use water to put out grease or oil fires. When the oil starts to smoke, it's getting too hot. Turn off the burner immediately. Keep the exhaust hood and vent above the stove clean. A buildup of grease smoke residue in the hood and vent is a fire hazard.

2. Avoid Loose, Baggy Sleeves

Change out of clothing with long and loose sleeves. These may catch fire while cooking on the stove top.

3. Keep Combustibles Away from the Cooking Area

Paper towel rolls can tip over and loose napkins can get blown around. Keep potholders, oven mitts, cloth towels and other combustibles safely away from heat sources.

4. Keep an Eye on Electrical Appliances

Check the cords of kitchen appliances like coffee makers, blenders, mixers, toasters and microwaves for signs of fraying. All plugs should have three prongs where the rounded prong is a ground. Avoid power strip use with these appliances because each draws too much power to be operating several appliances off of a single power outlet. Be sure that cords are kept away from heat sources.

5. Keep a Fire Extinguisher Handy

Have a fire extinguisher (class B-C) in your kitchen. However, keep it away from the stove and other heat sources because the fire itself will prevent your access to the extinguisher.

6. Remove Falling Hazards from the Floor

Losing your balance and working with heat sources don't mix. Involuntary balance reactions to a slip may knock flammable objects onto the stove or cause serious burns. Immediately clean up floor spills and keep the floor clear of toys and other objects.

Avoid the trauma of a home fire by keeping the above tips in mind. If you haven't reviewed your home insurance coverage in a while, contact your independent insurance agent today.

We value your safety. Call Key City Insurance at (435) 656-8100 for more information on Salt Lake City home insurance.

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