Using gas has been described as a clean and efficient way to cook. We must, however, ensure that our kitchens comply with safety standards before using gas appliances.
These would include ensuring your gas cookers and hot plates have adequate clearance from combustible surfaces, for example:
- Range-hoods must be at least 600mm above the cooking appliance,
- Exhaust fans must be 750mm above the appliance, and
- Burners must have clearances of 200mm unless the nearby wall or surface is suitably protected.
Other general Safety Suggestions are
- Never leave your cooking unattended. The cooking vessel could overflow and extinguish the burners, causing gas to leak.
- Never get distracted. If you are called away, turn off the gas.
- Keep the flame from extending past the pot side -Turn pot handles away from the stove edge.
- Be especially careful when cooking with oil or fat. Fats and cooking oils will ignite once they have reached a certain temperature.
- Never use water to put out fat and oil fires. Water can cause a fire to spread rapidly and inflict horrific burns.
- If a fire starts, turn off the stove or cover the flame with the pot lid if it is safe to do so. Then use an appropriate fire extinguisher, such as a wet chemical extinguisher, or fire blanket to smother the flames.
- Ensure good ventilation in your kitchen by keeping the windows open.
- Never allow a child to cook without adult supervision.
- Wear tight-fitting sleeves when cooking.
- Ensure smoke alarms are working.
- Keep stoves and cooktops free of grease and fat build-up.
- Do not place flammable or plastic items near the flame.
- Have a fire blanket and extinguisher easily accessible in the kitchen.
- Have a tested fire escape plan and ensure everyone in the house knows the plan!
- When cooking with gas, make sure the flame does not go out – gas can escape silently and invisibly.
- Close the regulator knob to OFF position when the cylinder is not in use.