Everyone owns household appliances, whether a refrigerator, oven, TV, etc. These devices generally require a much greater electricity usage than, say, a cellphone or laptop. Due to the immense electricity requirement, the items are more likely to be fire hazards (with some exceptions, i.e. certain cellphones that tend to explode). We will begin this new series on fire safety for household appliances with the most likely to start a fire (intentional or otherwise); cooking equipment.
Firefighters responded to an average of 166,100 home fires that involved cooking equipment from 2010-2014. These caused an annual average of 480 civilian deaths, which accounted for 19% of home fire deaths. These also caused an annual average of 5,540 injuries, which accounted for 44% of home fire injuries, as well as $1.1 billion in direct property damage, 17% of the total damage in all home structure fires during that time.
The majority (62%) of these fires were caused by ranges or cooktops (with or without ovens). That 62% caused 88% of the civilian deaths. The greatest contributing factor in these fires was something most people can’t deny they haven’t done; unattended cooking. It’s very easy to get distracted, as no one wants to watch a pot boil, but one spark and you could be coming back to a fiery inferno. Most of the injuries (55%) occurred when the victims attempted to extinguish the fire themselves.
Other causes of cooking equipment fires include; discarded material/product (11%), combustibles and heat source too close together (10%), unclassified misuse of material (8%), accidentally turned on or failed to turn off (8%), unclassified (7%), failed to clean (6%).
Many a blog post has been authored on this site with regards to dealing with cooking equipment fires. See the following posts for how to handle these fires because you never know when that knowledge might come in handy:
Barak Bacharach, SkySaver Content Manager