What Are The Most Frequent Causes Of Oven Fires?

Household fires can be absolutely devastating, particularly if they aren’t contained or dealt with swiftly. Unsurprisingly, one of the most common places for a blaze to begin is in the kitchen. With naked flames from gas hobs and 200 degree heat being produced by the oven, there is massive potential for accidents to happen.

When it comes to oven fires, there are a number of key contributing factors that could act as a trigger. These include the following:

Technical malfunctions

Due to the extreme heat within an oven, malfunctions are an ongoing risk. There isn’t a great deal that you can do to avoid any such issues, except to ensure that the appliance is serviced regularly or to report any potential issues that you spot – including erratic temperature variations or small flames and sparks.

Cleanliness

Of all the potential causes of an oven fire, this is perhaps the most avoidable. There really is no excuse for allowing your cooker to get to a state where it is so full of oil and greasy deposits that it is actually deemed unsafe to use. However, it does happen.

Every year thousands of fires are triggered by the residue of past meals. This is why it is so important that you take the time to clean your oven or choose an oven valeting service to do the work for you. Not having enough time really is no excuse for causing needless danger to yourself or your family; a few hours is all it takes to clean your oven and prevent a minor issue developing into something more serious.

Forgetfulness

Unfortunately a lapse of concentration can be critical, especially if you’ve left something in the oven. At best you might get away with blackening your shoulder of lamb or reducing your beef joint to inedible charcoal, at worst though it could mean a fire ripping through your kitchen.  Again, it’s not something you can necessarily guard against; after all it can be easy to get distracted by children, phone calls and everything else that goes on in the modern home. The only advice would be to always take care to double check, even when you’ve finished cooking that there are no issues.

What happens if you notice flames?

Whilst prevention is always better than cure, if you look through the oven door and notice that there are flames (or larger flames than usual in the case of a gas oven), switch off the oven and allow it to cool down. Don’t open the door, as this may only serve to add oxygen to the flames and could cause you to get burnt.

You should never attempt to tackle fires yourself unless you have been trained to do so effectively. Therefore, before you do anything else, assuming the fire hasn’t subsided, make sure you call the emergency services and request assistance.

The biggest lesson here is to always keep an eye out for technical issues, never forget that the oven is on and make sure that it is kept clean. A build up of grease and other materials isn’t just unsightly, it can also be dangerous too. So don’t take your health and safety for granted, make sure you clean your oven regularly and thoroughly.

We receive queries from people throughout the country every day. Some are homeowners or tenants, others own businesses, but all of them are looking for the same thing: a spotless oven. So why are oven cleaning services so popular and who really uses them?

Let’s be honest, nobody particularly likes having to clean their oven, especially when they’ve left it a while. It can be a messy, time-consuming process, but one that is often driven by absolute necessity. After all, it’s pretty difficult to ignore an oven that’s in need of a good scrub; all your meals are nicely smoked and it’s impossible to peer through the window.

Time constraints are another key reason why many customers choose to use our services rather than doing it themselves. As we’ve just mentioned, it can take a number of hours to clean an oven properly. This is time that some people simply don’t have. Therefore, rather than letting their cooker waste away under a growing layer of grime, they choose to get an expert to do the job. Their time is saved, the job gets done to a higher standard – it’s that simple.

Then of course there are those that are contractually obliged to have all appliances cleaned by a certified company. Many landlords provide such stipulations, meaning that we get a lot of calls for tenants coming to the end of their agreement. With the threat of losing a portion of their deposit for not cleaning the oven before vacating the premises, most are keen to bite the bullet and get it done.

We also work with a number of businesses and educational establishments. Home economic departments need to be kept clean at all times for obvious reasons; and with lengthy dormant periods, particularly through the summer months, it’s important that ovens are spotless when students return.

Of course not all oven cleaning services are as professional as others. Whilst we have people working throughout the company, running their own franchises, we always ensure that they adhere to the strictest codes and only use products that we’ve tested and recommended. Each one is also fully insured, so that any damage caused will be covered. Equally, they are all trained to our exacting standards, meaning that customers will get the same standard of service wherever they live.

For most of our clients, oven cleaning is all about convenience. They want a professional job in eliminating tough stains and bad odours from their cooker. As mentioned though, for some it is about necessity. Whether the oven needs to be bought up to code for hygiene reasons or as a result of ending a tenancy, cleaning services offer a great way of getting this done in a cost-effective and timely manner. Whatever your reasons and wherever you might be, we’re always happy to help.

With most people using their oven on a daily basis, making sure they’re kept nice and clean can go a long way to ensuring good hygiene, whilst also avoiding a number of unpleasant side effects. An oven that’s cleaned regularly is more likely to maintain optimal functionality, helping it to last longer, and importantly, save you money in the long run.

Whilst this knowledge may be at the forefront of most homeowners’ minds, some may not be able to identify all the tell-tale signs that your oven is in need of a good clean. So, to give you a better idea of what you should look out for when it comes to the oven in your home, here are six clear indications that it’s time to book in a professional clean.

Loss of Heat or Functionality

Have you noticed that your oven is taking longer to warm up, or is it struggling to reach its maximum temperature? Although there’s a chance this could indicate a fundamental issue with your appliance, it’s also likely that a build up of grease and grime has penetrated your oven’s working parts. This can also pose a serious health risk, as lack of functionality can lead to illnesses, such as food poisoning, as your oven isn’t able to cook items properly.

However, before you decide to throw out your oven and buy a newer model, take a good look inside and see how dirty it is – the chances are, if your oven has perhaps been a little neglected, all it needs is a good, old-fashioned clean. This may unblock certain issues and leave you with an appliance that not just works just like new but will look pretty good as well.

Dark Smoke

Another sign that it’s time to clean your oven is the arrival of dark smoke. Spillages are an unfortunate by-product of cooking, and fat can spit all over the inside of your oven too, creating a near invisible layer of grease. This leftover grease will then start to cook each time you use your oven, which can cause unpleasant odours and welcomes the arrival of dark smoke when you open your oven door.

It’s really easy for this grease to build up without being noticed, so if your appliance has started greeting you with a wall of smoke, it’s time for a clean.

Changes in Taste

If your food is starting to taste a little different to what you’d expect – perhaps it’s smokier or simply unpleasant, it’s likely that abandoned food spillages inside the oven are the culprit.

When spilt food isn’t removed from the oven and it burns, carbon particles are released which affect the flavour of the fresh food you’re cooking. An unsavoury taste is most noticeable in baked goods such as breads and cakes, but generally indicates that your oven is in need of a proper clean.

If You Don’t Remember When It Was Last Cleaned

This may seem like an obvious one, but when you’re going about your daily routine, months can whiz by in a flash. We recommend taking a minute to have a think about when you last cleaned your oven personally, or had a professional in. If it’s been longer than 6 months or you simply can’t remember, the chances are your oven would benefit from a bit (or a lot) of TLC.

Unpleasant Smells

Another issue that you may encounter as a result of this accumulated detritus is a rather unpleasant smell. Once it builds up and is then heated repeatedly, it can cause an odour to be emitted, which can make the kitchen a no-go zone. It does usually take some time before this becomes an issue, but you should still keep an eye on things, or, more accurately, a nose.

These odours can be a sign of bacteria building up, particularly if the oven goes unused for a significant period of time. So, in order to keep your oven in a hygienic state, it’s worth making sure that your oven is cleaned, with all grime removed from the surfaces.

Visible Grime

This brings us nicely on to the final sign, which is when you can actually see the accumulation of dirt. Perhaps you can’t see your food cooking through the grimy window or you start to notice small mounds of detritus at the bottom of the oven, one thing’s for sure, as soon as a few spillages turn into a major pile-up, it’s time to take action.

So, whether you’re familiar with one or a few of these signs or simply want to give your oven a spruce up, we’re on hand to help. If you’ve left your oven cleaning for a while, we recommend doing it as soon as possible. Even if you don’t have the time to take care of it personally, you can always choose a professional cleaning service such as the one we offer here at Ovenu.

For anybody that is in the catering industry or prepares food for others, such as childminders, achieving certification of cleanliness is essential. Whilst it may not appear to be the biggest priority, particularly if you are looking after children, ensuring that your place of work/your home is spotless will enable you to continue doing what you love.

Cleanliness is an absolute necessity when caring for others, especially when you’re in charge of inquisitive toddlers and hungry youngsters. This is why a great deal of importance is placed on achieving and maintaining a certification of cleanliness. But how clean does your home need to be?

Ideally, the answer should be spotless. However, even the most dedicated of cleaning regimens can leave behind some mess – in fact it’s almost unavoidable. But there are plenty of things that anybody can do to get things up to scratch, one of which is to have your oven cleaned regularly.

The oven and surrounding area can be a hotbed for invisible germs and bacteria. As this is where many meals are prepared, ensuring that any mess is dealt with swiftly and hygienically is absolutely essential. However, when you’ve got your hands full, it can be tempting just to give everything a quick onceover and make sure it appears to be clean.

Whilst there is nothing wrong with regularly wiping down surfaces and using anti-bacterial sprays to remove any germs, it won’t necessarily eradicate everything. This is where an oven cleaning service can really help you out.

By scheduling regular, or even just occasional cleans, you can ensure that every surface and all working parts look like new. But even better than that, they will be free from the grease and grime that can act as an incubator for all sorts of potentially harmful germs.

When it comes to ovens, cleanliness won’t just ensure that hygiene levels are maintained at all times, it will also ensure that it continues to operate efficiently. If fans become clogged, it can impact the thermostat – taking longer to warm up and costing more to operate. Therefore you can save yourself a lot of unnecessary hassle by getting a professional to sort it out on your behalf.

The good thing about having your oven cleaned by a professional is that you can continue with your daily work as they get on with their job. So you don’t need to be unduly disrupted whilst bringing your home up to code for a certification of cleanliness inspection. So all in all, it can really prove to be a good investment, especially for those childminders and carers who don’t have a great deal of time to do everything. Essentially it’s another job you can cross off your list and one less headache if you are seeking a certification of cleanliness.

In an age of austerity, many of us are trying to cut costs wherever possible. So whether we’re buying non-branded products at the supermarket or taking on jobs around the house that we might ordinarily get the experts in to do, every penny really counts.

Unfortunately, taking the cheaper option sometimes proves to be something of a false economy. For instance, how many horror stories have you heard about homeowners attempting to rewire rooms, do a bit of plumbing work or carry out a little renovation themselves, only to cause more damage? In these cases, most would be better calling in the professionals before attempting any kind of DIY efforts.

However, if you’ve finally decided that it’s time to give your oven a thorough clean, should you choose an oven cleaning service or just do it yourself?

Well, a lot will depend on your circumstances. After all, cleaning an oven fully can take hours to complete, involving plenty of stretching, bending and potentially harmful chemicals. This means that those with mobility issues or very little spare time may struggle to complete the cleaning process themselves. Therefore, the oven is either left to build up more dirt and grease, or you have to find someone else to do the job for you.

At Ovenu, we help hundreds of homeowners to get their oven glistening once again. But whilst our oven cleaning services are highly affordable, they do have a small cost attached. It is for this reason that some choose to simply do it themselves.

However, for this cost you can sit back and relax as a trained professional tackles your oven cleaning on your behalf. As all our employees are fully insured, you won’t even need to fret over damage. If an accident does occur, which is extremely rare, then it will be covered on our policy – not yours.

On the flipside of this, if you were to crack the oven door glass whilst scrubbing away at the filth and grime that had built up inside, you could be facing a very costly repair. Most oven windows are strengthened and reasonably well protected so it would be highly unfortunate if you did manage to crack it yourself, but that isn’t to say that it would be impossible to do so.

We also use non-corrosive cleaning agents, ensuring that your oven won’t be left with any lasting reminders of our visit. These are also often more effective than the products that you might find in your local supermarket, meaning a better finish without any of the risk.

However, even though we offer top quality oven cleaning services, we do realise that they aren’t for everyone. Some people would rather put on a pair of marigolds and spend an hour getting their own kitchen shipshape and shining again, which we certainly have no issue with. But if you need to get your oven clean in a hurry and you’re not able to do it yourself, then we’re here to help – maybe even saving you costs on repairs and damage in the process.

People say that things aren’t built to last anymore. Are they not, or is it that we just don’t look after them properly? Take household appliances for example, they’ll be put to the test day-in-day out through the course of their lives. If you look after them, they’ll get used a lot more often than those which are ignored, not maintained, poorly serviced or kept unclean. This will save you money as well as effort in the long run, and it also means that you’re appliances will stay performing to their best for longer.

For anyone who has just made a large purchase, for example on a brand new oven, the last thing you’ll want is to have to purchase a new one in a few years time, especially if it’s because you didn’t look after it properly. As a result of the current financial climate, disposable income is being reduced year-on-year for most UK households; this means that it’s imperative to look after appliances like ovens, otherwise you’ll end up forking out a load more money buying a new one.

In light of this, here are some tips on oven maintenance to preserve the life of your oven.

Clean spillages regularly

Whether you’re cooking on the hob or inside the oven, if something spills, wait for the oven to cool then clear immediately. This will prevent any grease and grime from building which causes your oven to slow down and also causes food not to be cooked properly.

Clean the oven thoroughly at least once every two or three months

One of the biggest mistakes people make is to leave their oven unclean for over a year. Not only will this affect the taste of your food, it can also harm the effectiveness of your oven, meaning that food won’t get cooked properly.

Check the oven’s temperature gauge

The best way to check that your oven is performing to its best is to be vigilant of the temperature gauge. Try cooking a basic cake, exactly following the instructions from a cookery book. If the cake isn’t cooked properly, then be sure to have it looked at or serviced.

Be sure to have it serviced

As mentioned above, this way you’ll know your oven always performs to its best. If the temperature isn’t as it should be, or the seals and trims have corroded, then your oven just simply won’t work as well. With a service, these problems can be fixed swiftly.

Be sure to use the appropriate cleaning products

Oven Cleaning products found on the high street and in the supermarkets contain a corrosive chemical called caustic soda. This can damage both the functionality and the aesthetics of your oven. Be sure to use an oven cleaning service that only uses caustic soda-free products.

Don’t rely on self cleaning ovens

This is referring to the way in which owners of self cleaning ovens use the self cleaning mode as a way of thoroughly cleaning their oven. Overreliance of this will see you purchasing a new oven in no time because components have been known to burn out as the oven runs at an extremely high temperature.

Whilst oven valeting is extremely effective and will leave your appliance looking like new, it’s certainly not a service that you’ll need to call on every day. So when would you possibly need to consider hiring in the professionals?

End of Tenancy

As you come to the end of your tenancy, there is often a mad rush to get the house or flat cleaned and looking spotless. However, in many cases, the appearance of cleanliness isn’t enough. Many landlords will request that carpets are shampooed, damage fixed, and the oven is professionally cleaned.

If you try to give it a quick wipe down and hope for the best, more likely than not you can expect to see some of your deposit disappear. In this case, it could be a false economy to try and hoodwink your landlord. Oven valeting is relatively cost-effective and the work is guaranteed too, so you will never have any issues – at least where your oven is concerned – when moving out.

Professional Kitchens

If you’re working in a kitchen environment where cleanliness is absolutely essential, then you have to ensure that your oven is up to scratch at all times. Failure to comply with hygiene rules could see serious sanctions against your restaurant, cafe or hotel, which is why many businesses employ full time cleaning staff to ensure everything is disinfected and wiped down to a satisfactory level.

For others though, the cost of doing so is prohibitive. If you don’t want your food or dining room to be ruined by a smoky oven, then you have to make sure that something is done to prevent your ovens from being clogged up with grease and bits of old food. Again, this is where a valeting service could prove to be invaluable. Businesses can schedule them to be done at regular intervals, saving their staff the extra workload, and ensuring that all equipment is fully operational at all times.

Spring Clean

Busy homeowners don’t always have the time to thoroughly clean the house from top to bottom. This means that some jobs can occasionally be overlooked – either on purpose or accidentally. One such bone of contention is the oven. It’s a pretty dirty job and can take hours to complete fully. You will also usually need to buy a specialist cleaning kit in order to do a proper job. Again, this just adds to the time, cost and hassle of the process.

Therefore, once, or maybe even twice a year, you might want to consider a full oven valet. Whilst there is a cost associated with doing so, at least you will have the reassurance of having a trained, fully insured professional, using the best products to do a thorough job. At least that’s one job that you can tick off the list.

Whilst most homeowners and tenants are well aware that they need to clean their oven regularly, many might not actually know why. When you do it yourself, it’s not the most pleasant task. It takes time, it involves the use of harmful chemicals and it’s pretty messy too. So it’s easy to see why many choose to leave it as long as possible.

However, despite the cost or inconvenience, it is essential that you keep your oven clean. Like most things, dirt will build up over time. In fact, the oven will often act as a trap for grease and food which, depending on how regularly and what you cook, often means that it needs pretty extensive attention.

If you simply allow it to continue building up you risk creating more work for yourself and even damaging the oven itself. The tell-tale signs that it is time to put in a little elbow grease include a build up of grime on the window, visible discolouration or residue build up inside and excessive smoke bellowing out every time you open the door. Not only does this add a charcoal taste to meals, but it can also be hazardous too.

In terms of hygiene, it certainly isn’t advisable to allow your oven to descend into a grimy, unusable mess. Whilst high temperatures can stave off most issues, it’s certainly not the ideal environment to prepare food in.

Then you have to consider the operation of the cooker itself. Like a car engine or anything remotely mechanical, it’s important that an oven is kept in full working order at all times. Failure to do so can lead to a drop in performance, with filters getting clogged and temperature issues. Along with burning off of existing residue, this can lead to the build up of smoke mentioned previously.

Essentially, it isn’t good for your oven, your food or your own health. If you don’t want to clean it yourself, then don’t be afraid to seek professional assistance. We help to valet the ovens of thousands of households every year. Some are due to coming to the end of a tenancy agreement, others are simply in desperate need of a thorough clean. As professionals, we have the cleaning agents and equipment to complete the job quickly and effectively, without you having to lift a finger.

The primary advantage of professionally valeting an oven over simply cleaning it yourself is that you can be assured of an impeccable finish. It will almost be like having a new cooker, without the expense or effort. However, it is also important that you continue to mop up spills and dropped food, even giving the surface a wipe every now and then (when it has cooled down of course). Regular cleaning can stop residue getting out of control, but it isn’t a replacement for the occasional major spring clean that all ovens need.

Ovenu Domestic Oven Cleaning Services.