A ccording to the ministère de la Sécurité publique, just over one in four residential fires starts in the kitchen. As you’re cooking, your range hood filters out grease and dirt, highly flammable substances. Proper installation, some basic precautions and regular maintenance are essential to prevent fire from spreading. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Install Your Range Hood at an Appropriate Height

This distance varies depending on your unit’s model, size, and power rating and should be specified in your owner’s manual. A decorative hood is usually installed between 28″ and 36″ high, while a ceiling hood requires between 36″ and 84″ of clearance. If your appliance is too far away from the cooking surface, its ability to draw in the air may be compromised. On the other hand, being too close to the heat (or a burning pot) may damage its components.

2. Have a Class BC Fire Extinguisher Nearby.

Putting out a kitchen fire as soon as it starts prevents it from spreading and getting out of control. Keep a Class BC fire extinguisher in a visible and accessible location for quick response. Such equipment can be used to extinguish flaming liquids such as cooking oil and fire on live electrical appliances such as your cooking range.

3. Clean Your Range Hood Regularly.

Wash your range hood filter in warm soapy water or the top drawer of the dishwasher every two to three months (or according to the manufacturer ’ s cleaning reminder option). Also, scrub the appliance’s interior surfaces with a non – abrasive cleaning product to remove any grease and dirt that may have slipped through the filter. Keeping your range hood clean will ensure that it continues to process air efficiently and limit the build – up of flammable substances in your vent .

4. If Necessary, Have Your Range Hood Vent Cleaned.

According to CAA – Québec , range hood vents “ normally don’t require systematic cleaning .” However, commercia l kitchens (e.g. , restaurants and seniors ’ residences ) are expected to clean their range hoods twice a year. This is to prevent the build – up of grease and other materials in side the vent , which could aggravate a kitchen fire. If you frequently cook , especially fatty or deep – fried foods, it may be prudent to have your range hood vent professionally cleaned every once in a while.

5. Protect Your Vent Joints With Aluminum Tape.

Despite its name, duct tape made of polyethylene or any other plastic material should never be used to cover the joints of your range hood ducts. Instead, use aluminum or stainless steel tape, which is more airtight and heat resistant. Should a fire expand in side your vent, this tape could prevent the flames from spreading to objects and materials near the duct.