Kitchen safety is paramount, especially in multi-family buildings and apartments.  Your kitchen is the most dangerous room in your apartment.  According to the latest National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires.  Two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen-more than any other place in the home.  Cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire-related injuries.

electric stove drip pan

Here are a few simple kitchen safety tips to prevent burns, fires, damage to and electric shock due to the improper use of your electric range.

  1. Do not wrap your electric range drip pans or range top with aluminum foil.  According to General Electric at www.GEAppliances.com, “foil can trap heat or melt, resulting in damage to the product and a shock or fire hazard.”  Wrapping your electric range drip pans may seem like a good idea and it might be something that your mom or dad ‘has always done’, but it is dangerous and, if used, could cause a serious problem to you, or fire, in your kitchen.  Not to mention, electric range drip pans are not very expensive to replace.  The effort to keep them clean with foil could cause more damage than its worth.
  2. Make sure the oven vent is not misplaced or covered.  On electric ranges with Calrod coils (not smooth top cooktop), the oven vents from beneath the right rear burner.  When the oven is in use, heat is exhausted under that coil.  If the vent opening on the burner bowl is turned the wrong way, heat from the oven will divert under the cooktop, rather than out from right rear burner.  Avoid covering the right rear Calrod element with a decorative burner cover.  This will cause heat to build up under the cooktop when the oven is in use.
  3. Check the pan size.  Oversized pans will trap heat between the bottom of the pan and the cooktop; this will transfer a lot of heat to the cooktop.  Your pans should not hang over more than one inch on each side of any surface burner. (e.g., on an eight inch burner the maximum pan size should not exceed ten inches.  On six inch burners the pans you use should not be larger than eight inches.)
  4. Watch this videos from GE Appliances about heat-related issues and your electric cooktop (Calrod element) rangeHeat-Related Issues for Electric Coil Ranges.
  5. To minimize the possibility of electric shock, unplug this appliance from the power supply before attempting any maintenance or cleaning.