Combining electrical appliances and water, grease, oil, hot surfaces and sharp instruments can unfortunately equate to fire in the kitchen as well as other catering accidents at work.
Kitchen fire statistics
According to Firesafe.org.uk, almost two thirds of domestic fires alone start in kitchens. This does not account for the many fires that remain unreported because home or restaurant owners have managed to extinguish a fire in the kitchen on their own.
Dealing with fire in the kitchen
Fire services recommend that, if there is a fire in the kitchen, you should not take the risk of sustaining injuries at work or at home, but get everybody out and call fire services.
This is particularly important if the fire is spreading away from where it started, as at this point, it is already too big to handle. In this case, everyone should exit the building, close the door behind them, and then dial 999.
Common causes of fire in the kitchen
Common causes of fire in the kitchen include deep fat fryers and electrical problems. Again, such fires should only be tackled if you believe you can do so safely and without the risk of sustaining personal injuries.
Deep fat fryers
It is imperative not to move a chip pan on fire, as incorrect handling could cause horrific burn injuries. Turn the heat off instead, making sure not to lean over the fryer in order to reach controls. If necessary, switch off the power at the meter.
When tackling the fire, it is vital to remember never to throw water over or use a general, traditional foam or traditional powder fire extinguisher on burning fats or oils. The only extinguishers safe for use on such fires are special ABF classed, ‘dry’ water mist and wet chemical extinguishers. Wet chemical extinguishers should be emptied completely over the oil, even when flames have already been doused, as this will prevent re-ignition.
When an electrical appliance is involved, pull out the plug or switch off the power at the meter. Use a fire blanket to smother the fire. If available, you may also use carbon dioxide extinguishers or, if they were tested to 35kV, foam or ‘dry’ water mist extinguishers.
Most kitchen accidents and fires are preventable by simple safety precautions and adequate training. If you were injured at work because nothing was done to prevent work accidents and fires, your employer may be liable to pay you work injury compensation.
Have a confidential chat with Accident Advice Helpline staff on 0333 500 0993 from your mobile, or 0800 689 0500 from a landline, now to learn more.
Date Published: October 6, 2016
Author: Accident Advice