One of the scariest and most panicking experiences people might face is dealing with a home cooking or kitchen fire. Most people cook daily, but it only takes seconds to set something on fire. The National Fire Protection Association says almost 50 percent of reported home fires are due to cooking. Holidays are the peak season for kitchen fires, so it’s necessary to know its common causes to ensure your food party with your friends and family doesn’t go up in smoke.

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Now, let’s discuss what causes kitchen fires so you can prevent them in the first place.

What causes kitchen fires?

Home-cooked meals have numerous benefits, but it comes with a dangerous risk: cooking fires. Home cooking fires can be prevented, but you must be aware of their causes to know how to effectively prevent them. So let’s discuss the five notorious culprits of kitchen fires to help you be cautious in the kitchen and ensure your family’s safety.

1. Unattended cooking

Most cases of kitchen fires are the result of inattentiveness and distractions. Taking your attention off of cooking by talking to a family member or checking your phone can be disastrous. Most cooking requires grease, heat, and oil, making it possible for a fire to break out when you’re not paying attention.

Kitchen fires can cause significant property damage when not quenched immediately. This is also why people hire restoration contractors following a kitchen fire to restore their property to its healthy state.

2. Greasy and messy kitchens

Grease flammable liquids that are not regularly and properly cleaned from kitchen and appliance surfaces build up over time. This buildup can ignite the next time someone uses the kitchen to cook. Luckily, fire blankets are designed to quench fires fueled by fats, grease, and cooking oils. Grease fires are a common type of kitchen fire, so by ensuring your kitchen is cleaned daily, you’re reducing your chances of igniting it.

In addition, you’re preventing mold growth by maintaining a clean kitchen, as molds love to grow in grease and moisture. People hire mold remediation contractors when molds have already infested certain portions of their homes when they should have done something in the first place to prevent it.

3. High cooking temperatures

Some people think turning their stoves up can make cooking faster. However, setting ridiculously high temperatures when cooking with your kitchen appliances is extremely dangerous. Setting too high temperatures can easily ignite your food. Always set the cooking temperature to what the recipe calls for, and avoid improvising or setting the temperature higher, even if you’re in a rush.

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4. Hot cooking oil

When broiling or frying anything in oil, always pay close attention to it. 50 percent of reported kitchen fires happen due to ignited butter, cooking oil, grease, fat, and other cooking substances. Oil can spread flames quickly and may still ignite the next time someone cooks if there’s a residue left on the stovetops.

5. Items too close to the heat source

For people with tight counter space or small kitchens, it’s easy to unawarely or inattentively put or leave things too close to the heat source. Unfortunately, flammable items like curtains, wooden utensils, towels, food boxes, and potholders can quickly catch fire, so always remember to put these away from the heat source when cooking.