Kitchens are one of the most dangerous rooms in the house. They have all the elements for starting a fire: heat, electricity, and water and they contain all kinds of highly flammable items like: paper, cleaning products, grease, wow! There are plenty of poisonous items in a kitchen, sharp objects, and germs, microorganisms, and perhaps even vermin! The best way to keep a kitchen safe is to keep it clean and clear of clutter.
Let’s talk about paper:
Paper: If you use paper towels these should be stored far away from the stove preferably near the sink. I hope you don’t use paper napkins as they are a waste of money and trees, but if you do, they should be stored in a drawer, not on the table, above the refrigerator, and certainly not near the stove! Your grocery list should be stored in a drawer as well. If you have a desk area built into your cupboards, keep the paper in the drawers and don’t have a bulletin board cluttered with papers tacked to the wall and keep your fridge front clear of papers. (Find another place for your kids art gallery.)
Two of the worst fire safety offenders found in a kitchen are junk mail and newspapers. If you read the paper at the kitchen table, don’t leave it there. Put it into your recycling center. The same with junk mail. Most organizers will tell you to open and sort it right when you bring it in and deal with it. I’ll talk more about the horrors of junk mail in future blogs about recycling. (Along with those empty Northwest Micro brew beer bottles.)
One more thing about paper. I was a teacher and school media specialist and have had many dealings with the local Fire Marshall. Classrooms are filled with paper and we were always being told to take down the fabulous 3-d paper trees we had on the wall or the 3-d painted paper fish we had hanging from our ceilings!