Kitchen Dominates Fire Claims from Quebec, Reports Allstate Canada

Safety in the kitchen essential

Montreal (October 1, 2012) — According to data from Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, 33 per cent of fire claims in Quebec started in the kitchen in 2011. In fact, kitchen fires have been the number one fire-related claim each year in Quebec since 2007.

Over the last five years, Quebec residents accounted for 35 per cent of Allstate Canada’s kitchen fire claims, including 28 per cent of the total cost of damages. Between 2007 and 2011, data from Allstate Canada shows that its Quebec customers reported 139 kitchen fires, ranking second behind Ontario’s 324. The next leading causes of home fires in Quebec reported in 2011 were from brush fires (15 per cent) and electrical fires (10.5 per cent).

“Several of our customers in Quebec who’ve had a fire in their kitchen tell us it began as a grease fire on the stove or from a deep fryer, which makes sense since oil can heat up very fast and catch fire without warning,” says Nicolas Bellier of Allstate Canada. “Prevention is your best safeguard against grease fires. While insurance will cover damage to property, it cannot recover your favourite belongings, family photos or other lost mementoes.”

There are few things more terrifying than a fire, especially in the kitchen, and there are several simple precautions homeowners can take to avoid expensive damage and devastation.

  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy and make sure it is replaced or refilled every six years.
  • Never leave food cooking unattended and do not store any items on top of your stove, especially while it is still hot.
  • Read the owner’s manual for all cooking appliances including stove tops and deep fryers and understand how they work.
  • When cooking, keep a pot cover close by to smother flames in the event of a fire.
  • Install smoke detectors. Replace batteries as recommended by the manufacturer in addition to cleaning and testing smoke detectors on a regular basis.
  • Educate family members on fire safety and have a fire evacuation plan in case of an emergency.

What to do in the event of a kitchen grease fire:

  • NEVER use water to extinguish a grease or oil fire. Water will make the flames spread.
  • Turn off the heat source and then smother flames by completely covering the pan or deep fryer with a large metal, lid, flat tray or cooking sheet.
  • Do not pick up the pan in which the fire started as this can make the flames worse and cause severe burns to the skin.

Before lighting the burner or preheating the oven, think about safety since the kitchen is where most fires start. Allstate Canada offers more tips from and encourages Canadians to talk to an insurance agent to help protect the contents of apartments and homes in the event of a fire.

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of Canada’s leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products. “The Good Hands Network®” enables consumers to contact Allstate Canada through one of 91 community-based Agencies, directly online at and through the Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-Allstate. Allstate Canada is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates. This year, Allstate Canada celebrates 25 years of partnership with MADD Canada in the effort to protect us all from impaired driving. In 2010, Allstate Canada, in partnership with the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), created the Allstate All-Canadians program, a mentorship program designed to create future community leaders through the sport of hockey. Learn more about this program at To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit