If Your Kitchen Stove Catches Fire (12 Facts And Solutions You Should Know In Advance)

Kitchen stoves can catch fire, and you need to stop this from happening. A stove on fire can quickly spread to the rest of the house, and your home can burn down in a flash. And, if your kitchen stove catches fire, you must know what to do. From stove installations to daily kitchen safety checks, look for possible causes of fire hazards.

Electric, gas, and wood stoves can catch fire. Electrical faults or gas leaks can cause fires, and so can negligence. Pets or children can set off touch-sensitive buttons on electric stoves. When a fire breaks out, immediately switch off the power and starve the fire of oxygen.

kitchen fire
kitchen fire


Fireproofing your kitchen is essential; you must know what to do and look out for in the kitchen’s cooking area. One’s first reaction is to pour water on flames, even if it’s an electric stove. But this is the worst move. Here are 12 facts on electric kitchen stoves to prevent these from catching fire and solutions to avoid your kitchen stove burning and flames spreading.

What To Do When Your Kitchen Stove Catches Fire

The kitchen stove is in the heart of the home, and close to fifty percent of fires start in kitchens. Often it’s negligence over installation, maintenance, poor wiring, damaged sockets, and old stoves. Still, even state-of-the-art touch-button stoves can catch the light. Pets and kids can set a kitchen stove on fire. And flammable materials – paper, oils, and cloths – on and near stoves can cause a fire.

A first response is to douse flames in water. But don’t do this. Pouring water on electrical flames isn’t wise. The quickest and safest ways to stop a fire in a kitchen stove are:

  • Turn off the appliance at the wall switch
  • Switch off the main electrical supply
  • Assess the size, and you can use baking soda
  • You can use salt to put out a small fire
  • If the fire is in the oven, keep the door shut (a lack of oxygen will put the fire out)
  • Keep microwave door closed when on fire
  • Smother fire on the hob with a large metal cookie pan
  • Smother grease flames on top of the stove with a clean metal baking tray
  • Open windows for fumes if the fire is sealed off in the oven
  • Stand back and be calm
  • Alert 911 if out of control
  • Invest in a dry chemical fire extinguisher

The above options can be drilled into your consciousness as a kitchen safety but always have a fire hazard plan.

Did you know almost 120,000 fires involved cooking equipment and that there are at least 250 deaths (and close to 4000 injuries) from household fires? So, be quick to assess the size of a fire, and look at what’s feeding the fire.

Keeping the space around the kitchen stove free from flammable items (paper, dishcloths, and cooking oil) is a good practice. And if your kitchen stove is burning, immediately evacuate people out of your home.

What Causes Kitchen Stove Fires

kitchen fire
kitchen fire

Kitchen safety and fire hazard plans are necessary for every kitchen. Check the burners, the oven, and the electrical connections. Look for defective wiring, often melted wiring, as this can lead to fires. Also, be aware of cooking spills, oven spills, and grease build-up.

Below are common causes for electric kitchen stoves to catch fire.

Stove Fires Happen When You’re Cooking

Cooking is a potential fire hazard. It would be best to keep an eye on what’s cooking on the stove, especially when cooking with oil. Being near a stove can stop a fire from spreading. Fires happen in a flash, and quick action can prevent a fire from getting out of hand.  

Stove Fires Are Related To Stove Condition And Installation

Electric stoves have been used for more than 100 years and increasingly so since the 60s. Some homes still have these original installations, and these old installations can cause fires. As much as electric stoves are a matter of choice and convenience, homeowners need to check on the following:

  • Electrical connections
  • Stove parts: coils, ceramic tops, oven, and the wiring

Stove Fires Come From Faulty Coils And Ceramic Cooktops

kitchen fire
kitchen fire

Faulty or malfunctioning heating coils on iron hotplates can cause a fire, especially in those last century-older stoves. The seventies glass-ceramic cooktops work with thermal conductivity and infrared radiation, and poor connections can be a culprit too. You must check the wiring on a second-hand stove before installation.

Ceramic cooking tops are sought-after options in open-plan kitchens as these drop into islands, are easy to clean, and are slick. Still, the glass-ceramic surfaces and ferromagnetic tops can be a fire hazard when left on or accidentally turned on. Always make sure there’s nothing flammable close by. And don’t use a stovetop as a kitchen ledge.   

Stove Fires Are Caused By Cats

Your pets and your high-tech stove can be the cause of a fire. No stove is without fire risk, which is a warning to pet lovers. Did you know that cats have been the cause of more than 100 stove fires that have wrecked houses in Korea? You might wonder just how this happens.

A report states that kitchen stoves can catch alight when cats accidentally land with a paw on high-tech stoves’ touch-sensitive buttons. Often this is not the stove as such, but what is left nearby, like paper, that catches fire when the stove is on and can burn a house down.

Stove Fires Are Caused By Dogs

The unexpected does happen. And when it comes to a kitchen stove catching fire, quick action is what saves a disaster. There are many stories. One went viral when a dog reached for a slice of pizza in a box on top of a stove. The dog accidentally pressed against the gas ignition knob. The dog got the pizza, and the paper pizza box caught fire.  

Of course, this was a freak incident. And if there was clutter around, the fire would’ve spread.  

Kids Are A Stove Fire Hazard

Pets can cause a kitchen stove to set alight. But just like household pets, kids can also cause fires near a stove. It’s good to have a ‘kid-free zone’ near a stove. Children‘s safety matters as they can turn on knobs and cause a kitchen stove fire.

Stove Fires Are Caused By Outdated or Worn-out Wiring

Fire hazards include old electrical and defective wiring, worn-out outlets and sockets, and malfunctioning plug points. Wiring on homes has an average lifespan of 20 years and has to be checked regularly and replaced. Don’t make makeshift electrical joins, either. Poor insulation is a cause of a kitchen stove catching fire.

Stove Fires Follow Improper Installation

kitchen fire
kitchen fire

To avoid fires, ensure the installer of your kitchen stove and oven is qualified. Also, follow the installation requirements. Check that the kitchen stove’s wiring is correct and that the plates (top) and the oven works. Ensure the wall plug, switches, and electrical wiring are in good order.

Oil Spills And Grease Cause A Kitchen Stove To Catch Fire

Cooking oil spills on stove tops are flammable. This has to do with the oil’s flashpoint, which relates to the least amount of heat needed to have vegetable oil burst into flames. The flames in a pan can also cause a kitchen stove to catch fire. And electric stoves are more likely to catch fire than gas.

A grease build-up in ovens can also cause a kitchen stove to catch fire. Always make sure you clean the oven and the stovetop regularly after use.  

Clutter Near And On Stove Tops Can Cause A Fire

It would help if you kept the area around a stove clutter-free. Don’t store flammable liquids or materials near a stove; definitely not on a stove. Also, keep paper towels and cloths, rags, potholders, and paper packets with groceries off the stovetop.

Damaged Electrical Outlets Can Cause Kitchen Stove Fires

A common cause of fires is damaged electrical outlets. The first signs are often sparks from the outlets. These sparks must be addressed to stop a kitchen stove catch fire.   

Stove On The Same Connection As Numerous Electrical Appliances

A common cause of domestic fires, especially kitchen stove fires, is negligence. You want your laptops, microwaves, and sound systems sometimes to run from the same wall plug as the stove. A single plug point is often used for multiple connections in open-plan living-dining and kitchen areas.  

The overuse of points, especially with a stove, can cause fires as the wiring can’t cope with the power load. And if the wiring is old, the risk of this unsafe wiring is more significant for a kitchen stove to catch fire.

 How To Prevent A Kitchen Stove Fire

As a preventative measure, check on a stove’s electrical wiring and install the stove according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Wiring is a major cause of fires in homes and setting a kitchen stove alight.

You can check on the following to prevent a fire:

  • Overloading affects circuit breakers
  • Flickering lights indicate electrical faults
  • Outlets (switches and plug point) heat up
  • Burning smells

In these cases, inspect your kitchen stove to prevent the stove from catching fire. Investing in a wet chemical fire extinguisher is also recommended to put flames out.

Of course, don’t leave your cooking unattended, as stove ovens and tops cause nearly all household fires.

What Not To Do If A Kitchen Stove Catches Fire

Though your first response might be to throw a bucket of water on a burning hob or into an oven that’s on fire, stop yourself. Grabbing for a bucket of water could be a reflex action you might regret. And a bucket of sand is also not the right choice to stop a kitchen stove from catching fire.

Turn off the electric stove’s wall switch and the house’s main electrical supply if your kitchen stove catches fire. Make sure there is no electrical current to the stove. If the fire is in the oven, don’t open the door. Keep it shut. Also, switch the oven off. Closing the door starves the fire in the oven of oxygen. Without oxygen, the fire will smother and peter out.

Depending on the fire’s size, you can use a metal lid or tray to smother open flames on the stovetop. Or use a fire extinguisher to stop a fire in a pan. What can happen is that the pressure from the extinguisher can spread the fire across the kitchen. A warning, too, is not to pour water on a grease fire.

Can You Use Your Stove After It Catches Fire?

You must adequately assess the damage to a kitchen stove that has caught fire. Some restorers say that the stove – oven and top – can be cleaned thoroughly. But it is more than cleaning a stove after it has caught fire. They recommend that the functioning parts of a stove be appropriately checked. And in most cases, the wiring, element, and inside insulation have to be replaced too.

Mainly the damage to a kitchen stove that catches fire is more significant than what’s visible on the surface. Depending on the type of fire, the stove casing can be damaged. And it’s best to get an expert opinion first.  

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