Kitchen fires are the leading cause of home fires and injuries.  You must act quickly when responding to a fire, but how you respond, will depend on the type of fire and where it is located.

If you are cooking on your range or cooktop and a fire occurs, try and contain the fire by covering it with a lid.  Once the lid is on, remove the pot from the burner it was on.  The lack of oxygen will put the fire out.  If you do not have access to a lid, use a fire extinguisher and aim for the base of the fire, not the flames.

When a fire occurs inside of your oven or microwave, do not open the door.  Turn the appliance off. The lack of oxygen will suffocate the fire.

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If a grease fire erupts in your kitchen, you must handle it differently.  First, do not throw water on it.  Water will cause the grease to spread the fire to areas where the grease splashes.  Try throwing baking soda or salt on the fire.  If the fire is manageable, cover it with a lid or a wet towel.

Never try and use anything such as clothing or dry towels to put out a fire.  Swatting at the flames with an article may make the fire spread.  Always be alert and focused while cooking and never leave appliances unattended.  Make sure you are paying attention to cooking temperatures and have timers set. 

To protect yourself and family from kitchen fires, keep a fire extinguisher in your home.  Also, make sure your home is equipped with fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.  If a fire does occur in your home and you cannot contain it, call 911 and evacuate your home immediately.

Recovering compensation after a fire.

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It is a property owner’s responsibility to keep their premises and home safe at all times.  If you were injured in a fire due to a neglected premise or a defective heating device, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Berger and Green at 412-661-1400 for a free no obligation consultation.

Source: National Fire Protection Association, “Cooking safety in the home”

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