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.

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.

British Summer time is upon us, and for the domesticated people of this world, that means one thing…it’s time for a spring clean. Sure, you’ll no doubt ensure the whole house gets a good tidy and thorough clean; that means the living room, dining room, all the bedrooms, but most importantly, the kitchen.

If you think about it, the kitchen gets the most use out of all the rooms in your home. Not only that, but it gets quite messy in there too. Now if you consider that the kitchen needs to be a place that is regularly cleaned, for health and hygiene reasons, then when it comes to spring cleaning, there’s no better time to make sure you give it a through clean. It’s not just the cupboards, floors, walls and appliances, but also the most important appliance of them all, your oven.

Whatever type of oven you have, the spring poses the best time to don your marigolds and give your oven a good clean. This also means that if you own an AGA oven, you shouldn’t neglect its cleaning needs either.

Now, one of the best times to clean an AGA is during the spring & summer because it’s a time when you can switch it off, let it cool, and give it a good clean before switching it back on over the autumn and winter period. It’s near impossible to thoroughly clean your AGA during this period; you wouldn’t get a very thorough job done – mainly because it’s so frequently used and relied upon as a source of heat for your home. Therefore, the spring and summer poses the best possible time to get this done.

So how should you go about cleaning your AGA?

Well, due to its effective but unusual design, many owners actually choose to get their AGA ovens professionally cleaned. Many oven cleaning companies notice that the summer months are particularly busy when it comes to AGA’s and so you should consider choosing this time to get yours cleaned too.

It’s important that if you do decide to clean your oven yourself, or you choose a professional oven cleaning company that they use only approved AGA cleaning products. Due to its enamel surface, the AGA oven needs a cleaning product that doesn’t corrode or cause excessive damage to its surface, which is usually what happens with strong acid based solvents.

AGA cleaning products need to receive approval of the Vitreous Enamel Association (VEA) if they are to be used on their surfaces. So be sure to use these or ensure that your oven cleaning service uses them too. If you do carry out the work yourself, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines because once the enamel has been damaged, it’s far from easy to get this put right.

On the other hand, if you do decide to use an oven cleaning service, ensure they’re accredited and check what cleaning products they use. At Ovenu, we specialise in AGA cleaning services, and all of our cleaning products are approved by the VEA.

Nobody wants to pay for a service that ends up costing more time and money that it actually saves. That’s why whenever we seek services, most of us will choose a company that we know and trust or that has been recommended by somebody.

Sometimes choosing the cheapest provider only brings further pain, with corners cut on some jobs and issues with reliability. So what should you be looking for when seeking an oven cleaning service?

As any home-owner will testify, ovens need to be cleaned regularly and thoroughly. Failure to do so will result in damage to the appliance, a loss of efficiency and billowing smoke every time you open the door. As careful as you are, cooking in an oven will always result in the build up of fatty deposits, which can cause all kinds of damage.

Of course you can wipe these away when you’re finished, but many people forget or simply aren’t able to, which can allow it to build up. The end result is that you will encounter one or perhaps all of the issues named above and your oven will need an extensive clean. But many people still have misgivings about hiring a professional to do the work for them.

This is only natural, apart from having to pay for the service, you also have to entrust a very important (and expensive appliance) into the hands of somebody that you don’t know. Therefore, in order to allay any such fears, you should always look for businesses or individuals that have the necessary credentials and insurance to complete the work.

Hiring an oven cleaning service company who don’t possess adequate insurance could lead to major issues further down the line. If they were to break the glass front on your oven, damage any of the fans or other mechanisms then you would be liable to pay for the repair. This could leave you hugely out of pocket and with an oven that isn’t just dirty, but also unusable.

Insurance might not guarantee that accidents will be prevented entirely, but it ensures that there is something in place to compensate you if it does. It is also a good indication that an oven cleaning expert takes their work seriously and that they understand the value of doing a good job, rather than just going after your money.

Here at Ovenu, we use specialist, non-damaging cleaning products to ensure that no surfaces are left damaged as a result of cleaning the oven. Not all practitioners will offer the same guarantee, so it’s always worth investigating exactly what they offer first and any guarantees that they can provide. It’s important that you feel confident, so never be afraid to ask questions before committing to any service.

Oven cleaning is, by and large, incredibly safe. As long as you find a provider that you can trust and that employs best practices in all services, you have nothing to worry about and can look forward to having your oven returned to showroom condition in a few short hours.

This is a very good question and one that requires a thorough answer. Since the advent of the internet, it’s been even easier for companies to simply set up a business and offer their services.

For the regular internet user, it might be difficult to establish which services are legitimate. After all, the website might look nice and they might say all the right things. However once you’ve been charged an arm and a leg for your oven to be cleaned, and to a fairly poor standard at that, it’s only then you’ve realised you were using a dodgy oven cleaning company.

Unfortunately, there are rogue traders out there; preying on naïve customers who just use the very first service they come across. Not only are you going to be paying money for a relatively poor service, but this is going to cost you a lot more in the long run. You’re probably going to need to get the oven cleaned again, this time by a more reputable company; but not only that, if the previous company have caused significant damage through the products they have used, this could also cost you a lot more than you bargained for.

So what sort of things should you be looking for to determine whether an oven cleaning service is legitimate?

Accreditations and Awards

The best way to check if an oven cleaning company is legitimate is to check whether they are accredited with any certification or awards. For example in the UK there is something known as the British Assessment Bureau who work with companies to make sure their services are kept to the highest standards, and if they meet these requirements, they get accredited with accolades such as the ISO 9001 quality management standard.

Pricing

Is their pricing clearly detailed? Do you know exactly what you’re going to be getting for the price they have quoted you? These are things that you need to consider, as well as being able to contact the company efficiently and effectively to talk about your needs. If their customer service is good, then this is also a very good sign.

The Products they Use and What They Say

If they’re open and honest about the products they use, then this is another good sign. Using the correct products when cleaning different types of ovens is a very important thing to consider. As mentioned some products can actually do more harm than good; they contain what’s known as caustic soda which can affect the heating element, as well as the seals and trims around your oven. If they make outlandish guarantees as well, these types of companies are best avoided.

Final Thoughts

So make sure they’re easily contactable with a company address and telephone number. Make sure they’re completely open and honest about their pricing and the products they use. Finally if their customer service is good and they have accreditations and awards, then this is icing on the cake.

If your oven is well overdue a clean and you don’t have the time, patience or products to do it yourself, then you’ve probably considered hiring a professional to do the job. However, just like when you come to find a plumber or electrician, you want to make sure that you choose the right one. So here’s our quick guide to choosing an oven cleaning company.

Check their credentials

Probably the most obvious and important stage in the selection process is the research you do beforehand. You don’t want to end up with a fly-by-night practitioner who will overcharge you and deliver a poor quality of service.

So make sure you seek customer testimonials and look at the background of the person or company that you intend to hire. If they’re fully accredited and have been offering the same service for a number of years, then there’s a good chance they’ll provide a professional service.

Insurance is essential

If an oven cleaning technician isn’t insured then don’t let them into your house. If there was to be any kind of damage caused during or as a result of the work carried out, you would be liable. For instance, if the oven’s window was to be cracked or broken, you’d need to purchase a replacement before you could use it again.

Not only would this cost you money, but it will cause huge inconvenience too. This can be easily avoided simply by ensuring the company or technician is insured.

ISO certification checks

Any serious professional should have received structured training and earned the relevant ISO certification. If they are unable to provide evidence of this or any other form of officially recognised accreditation, you may be advised to look elsewhere.

By taking the time to actually gain ISO certification it shows that the oven cleaning technician is dedicated to providing a service that meets the highest industry standards and has been trained to do so. Therefore you should be assured of a thorough and professional job.

Are all costs included?

Nobody likes hidden costs. So make sure you enquire beforehand about what exactly is included within the service. For instance, some less reputable companies might try to bolt on a charge for cleaning the roof of the oven. You might expect that this would be done as standard, and most will certainly include it, however this is not always the case.

Unclear pricing can make a quote seem a lot better than it actually is. So don’t get fooled into choosing a technician who offers a fantastically low quote, as you may be in for a surprise when you receive the final invoice.

Summary

Essentially, the most important thing for any customer is to know that they can fully trust their oven cleaning company. Asking a few choice questions [link to Oven Cleaning Questions You Really Should Ask] and carrying out some basic background checks can help you to avoid ending up with a shoddy service from an unskilled and uninsured technician.

You’ll be pleased to know that all Ovenu technicians are fully insured, have ISO certification, are professionally trained and highly experienced. We also employ a clear pricing policy, so you’ll never get an unpleasant surprise after your oven has been valeted.