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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Preventing Cooking-Related Fires

There are so many good-quality pre-made products at the grocery store these days that most people are surprised when I tell them all the things I make myself – bread, jelly, vanilla, marinara, salsa, cakes, soap.  You get the idea, but one thing I’ve never made from scratch is molasses.  One of the biggest reasons is that it takes a lot of work to get the amount of juice you need to process a batch that ultimately results in not a lot of the finished product.  The other big reason is it requires lots of watching and waiting.

But one of our Roanoke customers is way more patient and industrious than I am, and he decided to give molasses making a go.  It can take several hours for the excess water to boil out of the juice to make the molasses, and unfortunately our friend fell asleep during the process.  As he and his wife slept, the mixture continued to cook down, started smoking, and ultimately ended up leaving a burnt chemical smell throughout the entire house.  There are no photos to share from this disaster because there was no smoke residue at all.  The damage was a pungent odor that soaked into all this couple’s textiles – clothes, furniture, curtains, carpet, rugs.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that 40% of all house fires are cooking related – usually leaving pots or pans unattended on the stove.  A Cleaner World cares about you and your family, so we wanted to remind you of these important cooking-related safety tips:
  • Never leave cooking food unattended.
  • Always set a timer when cooking.
  • Be sure to keep cooking surfaces clean to prevent food and grease buildup.
  • Avoid wearing loose fitting clothing when cooking.
  • Keep flammable items away from your stove and oven.
  • Always have the appropriate lids for your pots and pans nearby in case you need to smother or cover a fire.
  • Check your kitchen before leaving or going to bed to make sure all appliances are off.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and check it periodically to ensure it is not expired and is in good working order.
  • Install a smoke alarm near your kitchens and test it monthly.  Replace the batteries at least once a year.
To learn more about A Cleaner World’s Fire Restoration Division, check out the FAQ section of our website.  Should you experience the devastating effects of a home fire and need help, please feel free to give us a call

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