The last thing you want in your home is a kitchen fire. It can spread quickly throughout the kitchen and take down the entire house. That’s especially true if the conditions within your home provide the perfect “kindling” for a house fire. As we head into another hot, dry summer, learning about the most common causes of kitchen fires could protect your home from disaster.

So what is the most common cause of kitchen fires? It’s really quite simple: Leaving food unattended causes more kitchen fires than any other culprit.

Whether this is done through intentional negligence, or because the cook forgets their unattended meal (or even falls asleep) unattended stoves cause more fires than anything else in the home. In fact, electric and gas cooktops account for 62 percent of all kitchen fires, with electric stoves actually surpassing gas versions as the most common cause.

Aside from unattended food, grease fires are the second most common cause of kitchen blazes. When cooking oil or grease overheats, it can spill out of the pot meant to contain it. And once it ignites, the grease or oil serves as fuel that has already spread across the cooktop and perhaps farther throughout the kitchen. Soon your countertops, cabinets, walls, and everything else in the kitchen goes up in flames.

And of course, unattended appliances such as toasters and microwaves cause their fair share of fires, too. If you leave the kitchen while using an appliance to heat your food, anything can happen in just a few short minutes.

Bottom line: Stay in the kitchen when you’re cooking, and avoid activities that distract you from the task, such as showering, watching TV, or drinking alcohol. These rules apply when using your outdoor kitchen, too, because fires on the patio or porch can very easily spread to the main structure of your home.

If you do experience a kitchen fire, know that we’re here to help you clean up the damage. Soot, water damage, and more can render your kitchen unusable until you renovate the room. Give us a call and we’ll help you get your kitchen back to safe working order once more.