For many families, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It is the space where people congregate for meals, entertaining, doing homework, cooking, baking, and talking about their days. However, the kitchen can also be a source of fires due to the equipment used for meal preparation, cleaning, and making coffee. Kitchen fires not only cause devastating damage, but they can also lead to severe burns and related injuries. As a victim, a burn is excruciatingly painful and requires extensive medical treatment. The recovery period is long, and there are often emotional issues caused by the permanent scarring and disfigurement. To avoid the risk and protect your family, check out some information on avoiding kitchen fires.
Sources of Kitchen Fires
There are a variety of factors that can lead to kitchen fires, including:
- Improper use of ovens and stovetops;
- Defective ranges, fryers, griddles, air fryers, interior grills, slow cookers, coffee makers, and
- Failure to clear toasters or leaving them unattended;
- Misuse of various kitchen and countertop appliances;
- Overloading circuits; and,
- Hot water and steam.
Plus, there are several kitchen appliances that are not actual heat sources, but which can cause burns under certain circumstances. Blenders, hand mixers, stand mixers, stove vents, charging stations, under-counter lights, and other equipment may contain defects that can lead to a fire.
Kitchen Fires Cause Hundreds of Burn Injuries and Fatalities Every Year
Statistics gathered by the National Fire Protection Association from 2011-2015 show how common and catastrophic kitchen fires can be. According to yearly averages:
- Kitchen cooking equipment was the number one cause of fire injuries in the home, causing almost half of all residential fires, leading to 20 percent of home fire fatalities, and 45 percent of fire injuries.
- Clothing is the first item to ignite in less than one percent of fires, but 18 percent of kitchen equipment fire fatalities are a result of clothing igniting.
- At 62 percent, ranges and cooktops make up the majority of kitchen fires.
- Unattended equipment resulted in around one-third of cooking fires, and led to 43 percent of related deaths.
- In the majority of fires that cause burns and fatalities, frying food is a factor.
- Thanksgiving is the top date for kitchen fires, followed by Christmas holidays.
Keeping Your Home Safe from Kitchen Burns
The American Red Cross has prepared some tips on how to stay safe in the kitchen and protect your family from burns:
- Check food regularly during preparation and never leave kitchen appliances unattended when cooking;
- Keep children out of the food preparation area, using tape to mark off a “kid-free” zone;
- Avoid wearing long sleeves or loose clothing that can dangle close to a flame;
- Clear the area around heat-generating appliances of any materials that may catch fire;
- Clean cooking equipment often to prevent flare-ups from grease.
- Install a fire extinguisher in a handy spot.
For More Information on Kitchen Fires and Kitchen Accidents, Contact a Lexington Burn Injury Attorney
Our South Carolina personal injury lawyers at Walker Morgan have extensive experience pursuing the rights of kitchen burn injury victims throughout the U.S., helping them obtain the compensation they deserve. If you were hurt under similar circumstances, please contact our product liability lawyers to discuss your case. We can review your medical records and tell you more about your options for financial recovery.