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House on fireThe kitchen is the leading culprit of home fires. In fact, in 2012, cooking fires accounted for over 150,000 home fires and over $790 million in resulting damages. However, most of these fires are the result of inattentiveness, which means that they are easy to prevent by paying closer attention while using cooking appliances.

Safety starts with what you wear. Loose clothing with dangling sleeves can catch on pan handles or come in contact with the stove burners, which is particularly dangerous with gas stoves. Be sure to roll your sleeves up before cooking. Similarly, keep all flammable items (dish towels, wooden spoons, pot holders, etc.) at least a foot away from a heated stove.

Never leave heated appliances and/or cooking food unattended and be sure that all cooking appliances are turned off before leaving the kitchen. The exception is when you are simmering food on the stove or using the oven; in these cases you can leave the kitchen, but remain at home and check on the meal periodically.

Keeping your kitchen clean also helps to prevent fires. If grease is accumulated around the stove burners, it can easily catch fire. Check the cords of small kitchen appliances. If any cords are frayed or cut, do not use that appliance. Also be careful not to overload the circuits by plugging too many appliances into a single outlet.

If a fire ignites inside of a pan, grab a nearby lid and slide it over the top to smother the flames. Immediately turn off the heat and wait for the fire to completely die before removing it. If your clothing catches fire, then listen to the old saying and stop, drop and roll to smother the flames. If you are not confident that you can extinguish a fire, do not hesitate to evacuate the house and call 911. It's always better to ask for help when in doubt.

Keeping your home safe is our top priority. Call Key City Insurance at (801) 840-9555 for more information on Salt Lake City home insurance.
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