What to Do and How to Prevent Oven Fires

Your oven is one of the most important appliances in your home. It is likely that it is an appliance that you use on a daily basis. Though ovens are among the most useful cooking appliances used in the home, they are also one of the most common sources of home fires. The reality is that the majority of house fires initially begin in the kitchen and the oven is often the source of these fires.

An oven fire can be an extremely scary situation and one that can put you, your family, and your property at great risk. With this point in mind, it is important to know what to do and how to prevent oven fires. As the Lexington, KY area’s leading fire damage restoration service provider, our team at ServiceMaster Fire & Water Damage Restoration wants to provide you with valuable information about the topic of oven fires, what you can do to prevent them, and what you need to do if one occurs.

Table of Contents

What Are the Most Common Causes of Oven Fires?

To understand what to do and how to prevent oven fires, it is important to know about the most common causes that lead to them. The most common causes of oven fires include:

  • Food scraps and other debris that has built up in your oven ends up catching fire   
  • You are cooking food with a large amount of grease and fat and it catches the oven on fire after splattering
  • You forget that you had something in the oven and it ends up burning and catching on fire
  • Batter overflows from something that you are baking and it ends up starting a fire
  • The oven’s self-cleaning feature ends up causing a fire
  • Using excessive cooking temperatures leads to an oven fire
  • Issues with a faulty appliance (more common with ovens that are 10 or more years old)
  • Flammable objects near the oven catch fire
  • There is no fire extinguisher nearby to quickly put out a flare-up in the oven

What Should You Do If Your Oven Catches on Fire?

Knowing what you should do if your oven catches on fire is as important as knowing the common causes of oven fires. When your oven does catch on fire, the following steps should be taken:

  • Leave the door of the oven closed
  • Immediately turn the oven off to give the fire a chance to burn out on its own
  • If the fire persists, evacuate the property and dial 911
  • If the fire does go out, open up all the windows in your property
  • After the fire has gone out completely, carefully open up your oven’s door to remove the hot pan that flared up (Be prepared for smoke to rush out of the oven door)
  • Make sure that the smoke has cleared before determining what led to the fire

The most important thing to remember during an oven fire is that you need to evacuate all occupants of the property in the case that the fire does not go out. At this point, it is time to bring in the services of your local fire department to deal with the situation safely.

What Causes an Oven Fire?

Current statistics suggest that as many as 170 thousand home fires begin in kitchens each year. A huge number of these fires begin in the oven. Having combustible material too close to the oven’s heating elements, leaving foods unattended, and forgetting to turn a poorly maintained oven off are major causes for this.

Can an Oven Catch on Fire If Left on?

Homeowners routinely ask whether or not an oven can catch on fire if left on. The answer to this question depends on the specific circumstances. While an oven that is left on will not catch fire itself, a fire could start if there is built-up food residue, grease, and other debris that is in the oven. If you leave your oven on and these factors are present, a fire could eventually start as they continue to get hotter. This fact reinforces the importance of keeping your oven clean and well maintained.

Many homeowners also want to know if they can leave their ovens on overnight for long and slow cooks such as pulled pork or a roast. This can be done but should be reserved for recipes that cook at low temperatures. It should also be done only in an oven that is properly cleaned before doing so.

How to Prevent Oven Fires

Preventing oven fires is always the best practice. It is one of the most important things to know within the topic of what to do and how to prevent oven fires. Some tips for preventing oven fires include:

  • Keep your oven clean at all times and make sure that it is clean before each use
  • Never leave cooking food unattended    
  • Always cover any food that could spatter in the oven and ignite a fire  
  • When cooking greasy foods, make sure to drain off the grease every half hour or so to prevent the possibility of a fire
  • When baking pastries and cakes, place a larger baking tray underneath the one that they are cooking in       
  • Make sure to have your oven inspected by trained professionals on a routine basis to ensure that everything is working correctly
  • Ensure that you have a reliable smoke detector that you regularly check (This should be installed in the kitchen)

If your property has been damaged by an oven fire or a fire from any other source, our team at ServiceMaster Fire & Water Damage Restoration is here to help. We have worked hard to establish our reputation as the Lexington, KY region’s top fire restoration service provider. Reach out to our team today to find out how we can help if your property has suffered from fire damage. Helping you to return your home to its previous/pre-fire state is what we do best. Our team is standing by and waiting to hear about how we can help.