Most fires that break out in homes are n0t the result of faulty wiring or arson - they're the result of the house's occupants failing to follow proper fire safety rules and causing an accident. One of the most dangerous appliances in your home is the stove, so you should be extra careful whenever you use it. Here are some tips on making sure that you prevent accidental stove fires and react properly if one does happen to break out.
No Unattended Pots
Many accidental stove fires break out because people set a pot on the stove and then forget about it, letting the food or empty pot heat to the point where a fire is kindled. Therefore firefighters recommend that whenever people are cooking in their home they remain in the room with the pot. This is especially important when there is grease involved (for example frying bacon or deep frying) as grease is much more flammable than other food products.
Keep Surface Clear
Your condo may be very small, but don't give in to the temptation to stack things on the stove to save space. Many kitchen fires are started because paper (such as food boxes or recipes) or fabric (such as dish towels or oven mitts) have fallen onto the element. Therefore even when you're not cooking, do not stack things on the stove. Also avoid hanging flammable items over the stove, lest they fall when your back is turned.
Before you leave the house make sure to check all the knobs on your stove are set to 'off.' If a burner is left on for long periods of time while you are not home, the risk is great that it can ignite, either spontaneously or catching fire to something that has fallen onto the element, such as a dish cloth. Even if the element does not catch, pets and children can be badly burned by unattended stovetop elements. Stove elements are often left on by accident because of a forgotten intent to preheat the stove or a failure to turn the element off when the meal is cooked.
Have an Extinguisher
No matter how hard you try to prevent an accidental stove fire, it is always a possibility. Therefore if you want to protect your property and life, you should have a specialty kitchen fire extinguisher on hand. These extinguishers are specially designed to combat grease fires, which will only be made worse with water. If you do not have an extinguisher, know that putting a lid on a flaming pot and removing it from heat is the best way to douse a stove fire.