We know a watched pot never boils, but when it comes to cooking with oil, you may want to ignore that adage and keep a close eye on that pot because grease fires, and cooking in general, are a leading cause of home structure fires and injuries. With over 160,000 home structure fires each year caused by cooking, being prepared to deal with a grease fire or prevent it in the first place is a bit of knowledge that everyone should have in the back of their mind. Below we will highlight what not to do, how to prevent and how to put out a grease fire should you or a family member find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
What NOT to Do
- Never Throw Water on a Grease Fire – One of the biggest mistakes and misconceptions people make is that throwing water on a grease fire will help put it out. Throwing water on a grease fire results in the splashing of oil and an eruption that can spread the fire throughout your home or kitchen.
- Avoid Attempting to Move The Source – Throwing a pot or pan outside might seem like a smart idea in the heat of the moment, but this can result in personal injury as well as a spreading of the fire.
How to Prevent a Grease Fire
Preparation can be the difference between a small fire that gets contained quickly or your entire house going up in flames.
- Never leave your kitchen unattended when cooking.
- Keep all items that could catch fires a safe distance away from your stovetop.
- Refrain from dumping foods with extensive moisture or frozen foods into hot grease.
- Maintain a safe temperature for the oil you’re using to cook with. If you see any smoke or an overwhelming smell, it could be an indication that your oil is too hot.
- Avoid splatter by being cautious when adding food to hot oil.
- Always keep a lid nearby in order to contain a fire that starts.
- Keep baking soda near the stove when cooking with grease.
- Always keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
How to Put Out a Grease Fire
Assess the Danger
If the fire is still small, it may be safe to extinguish yourself. However, if it is large or moving rapidly, get out of the home and call the fire department immediately
Take Away the Heat Source
Put out the fire by turning off the stove -Do not attempt to move the burning container. You may cause more damage if the contents spill out, and you may wind up burning yourself
Snuff Out the Fire
Cover the flames with a metal lid or cookie sheet. NEVER use glass or ceramic covers as the high temperature may cause them to explode or shatter. Also NEVER use fabric items –such as a towel – to throw on the fire or to swat at it. You may give the fire a new source of fuel or wind up fanning the flames.
Extinguish the flames by throwing baking soda or salt on a small grease fire. For a larger grease fire, use a chemical fire extinguisher. NEVER use water on a grease fire – because oil and water do not mix, it may cause the fire to splatter and spread
Experience A Grease Fire – What Now?
Even if you are able to contain the fire yourself, you may be left with smoke and unsavory odors from the fire. Mammoth Restoration’s professional technicians are just a phone call away and your fastest way to normal.
Learn more about how Mammoth Restoration is a leader in the restoration of fire and smoke damage by clicking here.