Some of us remember coming downstairs each morning after spending the night at our grandparents’ home, only to find them sipping coffee with the oven door wide open. As easy as this “solution” to heat the house may seem, it is incredibly dangerous and a serious fire hazard. So, what are some common reasons you should never use an oven to heat your home? You’ll find them below, along with safe alternatives, along with how to carefully work your way around a kitchen to reduce your chances of a fire.
Why Can’t You Use an Oven to Heat Your Home?
While it might be tempting to simply flip open your oven door and let the warmth flow in, this method of home heating is highly dangerous. In fact, according to NBC in Dallas-Fort Worth, three reasons you should never use an oven to heat your home include:
- Risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Dangerous pollutants and gases may be emitted into your home.
- Increased risks of health effects.
Additionally, Washington, D.C.’s Office of the Tenant Advocate outlines additional risks of heating your home with an oven. Notably:
4. Unattended heat can catch fire if flammable objects are set too close. Even if you are monitoring the oven, the risk of fire is present.
5. You run the risk of a higher gas bill if you decide to let the oven stay on with the door open.
What are Some Safe Alternatives to Heat Your Home?
The easiest solution is to use your home heating system. You might also choose to use a space heater. These convenient devices are ideal for quick heating and often popular choices due to their mobility and size (just make sure they come equipped with automatic shut-off in case they tip over or overheat).
Additionally, make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed, and regularly check them. In fact, it is recommended to check home detectors when clocks change twice a year. This makes it easy to remember!
What are Kitchen Safety Tips to Avoid a Fire?
- Always stay in the kitchen while frying, boiling, broiling, and/or grilling.
- Keep utensils such as oven mitts, towels, curtains, food packaging, and wooden utensils away from the stovetop, as they can catch fire.
- Maintain a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove, or wherever hot food is being prepared.
- Don’t use the stove or stovetop if you’ve been drinking alcohol or are tired.
- Turn pot handles away from “high traffic” areas (toward the back of the stove) so they can’t be bumped into.
- Always have a fire extinguisher nearby.
- Keep cooking equipment clean.
- Dust, grease, and crumbs can be fire hazards.
- Loose clothing can catch fire, so it is advised to wear short, rolled, or tightly fitted sleeves when cooking.
- Don’t pour grease or oil down the drain.
- Let grease sit and cool before throwing it in the garbage.
- When simmering, basting, or roasting food, use a timer to remind you that you are cooking in case you leave the room.
Ultimately, though, you should always remain in the kitchen and monitor cooking food.
- Smother small grease fires with a lid. Turn off the stove, place the lid on the fire, and let it cool fully until removing the lid. Never throw water on a grease fire.
- If you aren’t comfortable placing a lid on the fire, evacuate everyone outside and call 911.
- During an oven fire, turn off the heat and leave the oven door closed.
- When frying on the stovetop, always stay in the kitchen.
o Heat the oil slowly to your desired temperature.
o Add food gently so the oil does not splatter.
o If the oil starts to smell or you see wisps of smoke, turn off the burner immediately and/or cautiously remove the lid from the burner.
o Smoke is a sign the oil is too hot.
How Does SERVPRO® Clean After Fires?
SERVPRO follows a seven-step fire damage restoration process to help clean up both large and small fire damage:
- Emergency Contact. In the first step, when you reach out to your local SERVPRO franchise, a specialist will ask you various questions to determine size and scope of loss and determine necessary equipment and personnel to dispatch.
- Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment. When SERVPRO technicians first arrive, they will carefully inspect and evaluate the damage, including adjoining rooms to where the fire occurred. It is important to examine the extent of fire, smoke, and soot damage, which will help develop an appropriate plan of action.
- Immediate Board-up and Roof Tarping Service. To protect against vulnerabilities and help lessen the chance of animal or illegal entry, SERVPRO is happy to offer both board-up and roof tarping services if needed. Ultimately, it is important windows, walls, and roofs are protected during the fire cleanup process.
- Water Removal and Drying. If water damage is present after firefighting efforts, SERVPRO technicians will use air movers and dehumidifiers to thoroughly dry the affected areas after extraction takes place.
Water removal begins almost immediately upon technicians’ arrival.
- Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces. Cleaning ceilings, walls, and floors requires specialized equipment and techniques. This helps SERVPRO technicians remove smoke and soot from these areas.
- Cleaning and Sanitizing. All restorable items damaged in the fire will be cleaned and restored. This involves the use of various cleaning techniques. SERVPRO technicians are also skilled in removing odors, using fogging equipment and industrial air scrubbers.
- Restoration. The final step may involve smaller repairs such as painting or replacing drywall, or more significant repairs such as reconstruction of a single room or entire areas of your home or business. Ultimately, SERVPRO will work to return your property to pre-fire condition, “Like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO Restores Properties After Fire Damage 24/7
Unfortunately, fire damage can strike without warning. Whether you accidentally leave the oven on, a plug catches fire, or a candle falls over, fires can spread fast, causing severe damage and threatening human and animal life. When you find yourself facing the aftermath of fire damage and don’t know where to turn, reach out to your local SERVPRO franchise. Available year-round, including holidays and weekends, SERVPRO restoration professionals are ready to provide elite cleanup, restoration, and construction services at a moment’s notice.
But SERVPRO doesn’t only provide fire damage mitigation services. Since 1967, SERVPRO has grown to become the leader in cleanup and restoration, including water cleanup, mold remediation services, deodorization, document restoration, construction services, and so much more. Equipped to clean both residential and commercial spaces, and with more than 2210 franchise locations across the United States and Canada, SERVPRO is Here to Help® and looks forward to returning your property to pre-fire condition.