A window near the stove not only provides a light source, but also can work as a substitute for a fan to help draw steam and odors out of the kitchen. An important factor to consider, however, is the safety of putting a stove under a window.
Curtains pose a risk when they are on a window above a stove. The Home Safety Council and U. S. Fire Administration warn consumers about having any flammable objects too close to a stove. Curtains can blow onto a hot electric burner or the open flame of a gas stove. They can also catch fire if a spark, flame or burning food touches the fabric. Even if curtains are held away from the stove with tiebacks, they still can catch a spark or flame. Curtains hung directly over a stove are deemed unsafe.
Safer Fabric Options
The Home Safety Council recommends that flammable materials, including fabric curtains, should be at least three feet from the stove surface. This includes combustibles that might be placed above and to the sides of the stove. Consider using a valance on a window to dress it up while keeping the fabric a safe distance from the stove top. If the top of your window is more than three feet above the stove, you can hang a tier curtain from the top of the window frame. A tier curtain may also fit just below a valance on a very tall window if you wish to have a layered curtain.
Wooden or vinyl folding shutters work well for inside windows. Put a pair of exact-sized shutters on a short or tall window. Consider placing two sets of shutters on a taller window so the bottom ones can be open to let in the light or a breeze while the top ones may remain closed. A shorter set of shutters can also be topped off with a fabric valance or tier curtain placed at least three feet above the bottom edge of the window frame. Be sure, however, that the shutters fold away from the stove and do not hang over the stove surface. Shutters do not catch fire as quickly as fabric, but can burn if exposed to a stove fire or long-term heat.
Window films are self-sticking and work well on glass. Cover your windows with a solid color film or tinted film. Alternatively, choose a stained-glass or other printed pattern. Window film is washable, lets in natural light and gives the window a decorative look, eliminating the need for a fabric curtain.
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