For those of you with pets at home, I’m sure you’ve had the problem of them getting into your trash and making a huge mess in your home. Here is Pro Tip #1 we learned the hard way in how to Prevent Kitchen Fires by never storing anything on your stovetop. I know it may be convenient to use the stovetop to hide items from your pets, but believe me, it isn’t worth it!
Our family dog used to root through the trash when people weren’t in the kitchen, dragging it all over the place. To prevent this, we sometimes placed our trash can on a kitchen countertop, usually next to our stove. We learned, sadly, that doing this is a terrible idea and should never happen!
One night the trash can was NOT put on the countertop as usual; instead, it was placed on the stovetop next to the countertop. A stove knob must have been accidentally bumped and turned on (maybe by the dog, who knows?), causing the burner heat up the trash can and then catch it on fire! Within minutes the kitchen was filled with acrid, black smoke and the smell of the burning plastic. The smoke alarm in the kitchen sounded, and the whole house had to be evacuated to avoid the fire danger and that awful smell. The stovetop, counter, and cabinets were all covered in melted plastic and now badly damaged from the smoke.
This accident could have been prevented by never putting anything on the stovetop, as the National Fire Protection Agency recommends. Also, you can prevent kitchen fires like this by installing a FireAvert on your kitchen stove. A FireAvert would have automatically shut off the power to the stove, removing the heat source, when the smoke alarm activated. With the heat source gone, there wouldn’t have been a fire and the significant damage caused to our kitchen.
Finally, Pro Tip #2: Take your trash outside every night so there isn’t any left inside for your pets to root through and drag all over your home!