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Does boiling water cause fire? Taipei City Fire Department’s reproduction experiment shows it could happen.

When cleaning up houses and preparing for the coming Chinese New Year, do you notice the places in your home with a higher fire risk? Have you also noticed that cooking fires have been the primary cause of fire for consecutive years? According to Taipei City Fire Department, 617 cooking fires occurred last year (2022), causing one death and two injuries. Analysis shows that overcooking (91.7%) is the leading cause, followed by deep fryer fire (4.3%). Although there are only 6 fire cases relating to heating the pan without food or water, they still resulted in one death. People often misunderstand that there is no fire hazard if they only boil water without cooking or frying food in a pan. In fact, boiling water could cause fires.


Taipei City Fire Department presents a video, “Fire Scene Investigation Corner, explaining the mechanism of fire initiation and critical points of fire prevention. The video combining statistical analysis, case studies, fire simulation, and reproduction experiments gives the public a more direct image of how our daily activities may lead to disasters. The topic of this video is a reproduction experiment about boiling water to dry and cause a fire. The video shows that if the water is boiled to dry, and the stove is still on to heat the kettle, the grease and oil stains surrounding the stove would eventually get ignited. Since the water in the kettle is evaporated, the stove heat would be difficult to dissipate. Then, the heated kettle and radiation heat continuously from the stove ignite the stains. 


The Fire Department calls to examine every corner in your kitchen, and remember the 4 principles to prevent kitchen fires. 

1. Keep an eye on the cooking stove, and never leave cooking unattended. 

If one needs to leave due to an urgent matter, immediately turn off the fire source. When simmering for an extended period, it is recommended to set up an alarm as a reminder to prevent a disaster.

2. Clean stoves periodically. 

Remove the grease and oil stains around the stove to prevent them from being ignited by the heat and flames generated during cooking.

3. Remove combustibles.

Keep kitchens tidy and remove combustibles around the stove to avoid spreading of fires.

4. Install fixed-temperature residential fire alarms.

Install fixed-temperature fire alarms in kitchens to detect early fires and avoid false alarms from cooking fumes.

Finally, choose stoves with safety devices, like flame-out protection and temperature sensor. Pay attention to home safety to eliminate fire risks, and create a secure living environment.