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Kitchen Security Measures for Your Home

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At Northeast Security Solutions, we work with families to create a complete home security plan. This involves taking into account safety and security issues in every area of the house. Our recent Guide to Shed and Garage Security addresses securing these important exterior structures. We also created Best Practices to Improve Bedroom Security, Tips to Improve Basement Security, and 5 Keys to Complete Home Office Security. This week, we address one of the most important and popular rooms in the home. In this post, we share some of our most valuable kitchen security measures.

We’ll begin with looking at stove safety tips. Stoves represent one of the most potentially dangerous appliances in the home, and deserve special caution. We’ll also look at some tips for fighting kitchen fires. From there, we’ll look at how modern technology can improve overall kitchen security. Smart home devices have made monitoring this area of your home more convenient than ever. Let’s begin with a look at some valuable stove-related safety tips.

A gas burner on a stove

Taking safety precautions around your stove makes up one of the most important aspects of kitchen security.

Exercise Proper Stove Safety

It should be no wonder that we start our kitchen security tips with the topic of stove safety. As the NFPA points out, cooking fires make up almost half of all home fires (48% to be exact). Wearing loose clothing around your stove can cause a fire. In the same vein, those with very long hair should cook with their hair secured as well. Parents should take extra care when cooking with children around. In addition to keeping an eye on kids and pets around the stove, parents should also turn the handles of pots towards the center of the stove while cooking. This lessens the chance of a child trying to pull on the handle and creating a dangerous situation. We also recommend having a plan in place in case a fire does occur. Let’s look at addressing this issue next.

Utilize Proper Fire Safety Measures

As a security company, we help people have a plan in place in case of the worst case scenario. In fact, we dedicated our entire post on Emergency Preparation Tips for Alarm Customers to this very concept. Homeowners should take as many steps as possible to anticipate and prevent disasters before they happen. However, they should also ensure complete preparation in case an emergency does occur. When it comes to kitchen security, this means having specific plans to fight fires that start in the kitchen. We’ll start by looking at how to fight some common kitchen fires. From there, we’ll discuss security equipment that homeowners should have at hand and ready to go in case of emergency.

Know How to Fight Different Kitchen Fires

Catching fires in the kitchen quickly make the difference between burning your dinner and creating a catastrophe. Since oxygen fuels fires, immediately smothering small fires often does the trick. Try using a pot cover or damp rag to do so. Also, don’t forget to turn off the stove as soon as possible. If something in your microwave catches fire, unplug your microwave as quickly as possible. Fighting grease fires requires extra care. Sometimes homeowners panic and throw water on a growing fire to put it out. In the case of a grease fire, this actually causes the fire to spread. If safe to do so, we recommend covering the fire with a lid or metal cookie sheet to extinguish the flames. In addition, special fire extinguishers designed for putting out grease fires are available. They are called “Wet Chemical” or “Class K” fire extinguishers. The pressure of the more common ABC type fire extinguishers can sometimes cause the grease to spread if not used properly. In any case, we recommend always calling 911 and evacuating if a fire starts getting out of control.

A stovetop fire starting in a pan

Knowing how to best fight different types of fires can help prepare you for situations such as this one in your kitchen.

Keep Fire Detection and Firefighting Equipment on Hand and in Working Order

Our post on Residential Smoke Alarm Requirements in Massachusetts goes over smoke alarm placement requirements for homeowners. Furthermore, we also pointed out that adding detection equipment above and beyond legal requirements can make you and your family safer. We do not recommend installing a smoke alarm near your kitchen. The smoke from cooking can create frustrating false alarms. However, installing a heat alarm near your kitchen can help alert you to a stove fire. Heat alarms require extreme temperatures rather than smoke in order to activate. This allows you to install this detection without the nuisance caused by false alarms due to cooking.

In addition to heat alarms, we also recommend keeping a kitchen fire extinguisher handy. Make sure you always use the proper extinguisher type for the fire your fighting. This simple purchase can come up big if a fire does occur. Of course, having the right equipment doesn’t do any good if your kitchen security equipment falls out of repair. Test your smoke and heat alarms regularly to make sure that they’ll work for you when you need them most. If you do have a fire extinguisher, it’s a good idea to have it inspected and tagged by a a company certified to do so such as our subsidary Atwood Fire Extinguishers. We can provide any maintenance needed to keep your fire extinguisher ready in case you ever need it. In addition to fire-specific security equipment, adding smart home equipment can also help you improve your kitchen security at home. Let’s take a closer look at this concept next.

Use Smart Home Devices to Monitor Your Kitchen

Smart home technology has made adding kitchen security and overall home security much simpler than in times past. These devices allow you to control and monitor them using a smartphone. As we pointed out in our 7 Important Security System Add-Ons for Your Smartphone, many of our alarm customers already have security systems that double as smart home hubs installed in their homes. We monitor many of our alarm systems through cellular dialers. This ensures that these alarm systems will communicate to our central station even when phone lines go down. Our cellular dialer, powered by Alarm.com, allows users to control their alarm system remotely with a smartphone, computer, or other internet-connected device. From there, customers can also add smart home devices that they can control using the Alarm.com app. In this section, we’ll look at specific smart home devices that we encourage homeowners to install to improve kitchen security.

Cameras

Smart cameras provide homeowners with several security benefits. For starters, they’ll capture video in case of a burglary or other incident. Additionally, they allow you to look into your home through a camera’s live feed at any time. Furthermore, Alarm.com smart cameras can also send live footage to your phone upon detecting motion. Since kitchens bring such a unique risk of danger, installing a camera in this area can help you put events together in case anything does go wrong. For proof, take a look at this video that went viral last year. The video footage from the homeowner’s camera allowed her to put together the unique events surrounding this fire. Let’s look at another smart home device that we recommend to our customers.

An Alarm.com smart plug connected to the Alarm.com mobile app

Smart plugs, such as the Alarm.com model pictured, allow homeowners to monitor and control their kitchen and home appliances remotely.

Smart Thermostats

Customers ask for smart thermostats perhaps more than any other smart home device. These thermostats allow you to check in on — and control — the temperature of your home remotely. Additionally, these devices have a unique fire security role due to their connection to your HVAC system. If you have monitored smoke detection, your smart thermostat will shut down if your alarm detects a fire from your kitchen or any other area of your home. This in turn prevents the spread of smoke or gas through your HVAC system. Furthermore, a smart thermostat will create an alert if your home’s temperature reaches a specific customizable threshold. This means that if you accidentally leave the oven on, you may receive an alert before the situation turns into an emergency. Let’s look at one more product we recommend specifically for improving kitchen security.

Smart Plugs

Smart plugs can effectively turn any home appliance into a smart home appliance. Many customers connect lights to these plugs. This allows them to turn these lights on and off with their smartphone going forward. Customers connect appliances that create a fire hazard to smart plugs in case they forget to turn them off. For example, plugging a coffee maker into a smart plug allows customers to turn this appliance off remotely. Additionally, it also allows them to check on the status of these devices. Worried that you left a crock pot or other appliance on in your absence? Get out your phone and check on it! If you did, you can fix the issue with the press of a button. If not, now you don’t have to spend the day worrying. Adding smart home devices to your alarm system adds both security and peace of mind to your day-to-day kitchen routines.

Creating a Complete Kitchen Security Plan

We hope that this post has given you some ideas to improve your own kitchen security. If you have any questions about the information contained here, we encourage you to contact us. We will happily answer any questions you may have and provide any advice we can. Additionally, we provide free home security site surveys for homeowners.  While on site, we can create a room-by-room security and safety plan for your own home. Together, we can put together a plan that keeps your entire home as safe and secure as possible.