Grease fires can start in the kitchen as quick as a lightning strike! These fires are incredibly dangerous and unfortunately, some of our first instincts to try to put them out often make them worse! Today we’re going to talk about preventing grease fires and what to do when one occurs in your home!
Preventing a Grease Fire:
- Follow basic cooking safety every single time you cook!
- Keep the area around the stove clear of anything flammable! Next to the stove is not the place to showcase your cookbook selection or store your paper towels! If something on the stove does catch fire, it will have plenty of fuel to spread! So make sure the area is uncluttered – and don’t forget to keep your pot holders and oven mitts a good distance away too!
- Keep a working Class ABC fire extinguisher in the kitchen. If something catches fire, you’ll be ready!
- Stay close to the stove when cooking! One of the most common causes of a kitchen grease fire is leaving the stove unattended! These fires can happen in seconds – stay close to the stove!
- Frozen foods and foods with a lot of moisture should never be put into hot oil or grease. Let food thaw and remove as much moisture as you can before placing food into hot oil or grease.
- Heat oil slowly.
- Add food gently to pots and pans to avoid splatter.
- Turn off the heat or take the pan off heat if you see it start to smoke or the oil begins to smell! Smoke is an indicator that the grease is about to catch fire! Make sure you keep grease at the recommended temperature for what you are cooking and below 500° F.
Putting Out a Grease Fire:
- NEVER, EVER put water on a grease fire! See the video below to see how a grease fire flashes over when water is added!
- Do NOT attempt to move the pot to the sink or outside! Moving the pot can give the fire more of the oxygen that it needs to grow.
- If the fire is still small and contained in the pot, pour baking soda or salt on the fire. Baking soda and salt helps to cut off a fire’s oxygen source and can smother the fire.
- NEVER use baking powder, sugar, flour, or any other kitchen powder. Their chemical make up is different than baking soda and salt and not only will they not put out the fire, they will actually make the fire worse!
- If the fire is still small and contained in the pot, use an oven mitt to put a metal lid or cookie sheet over the pot. Do not remove the lid until the pot has completely cooled off.
- Turn off the heat source! Just turn the stove off.
- Use a Class ABC or a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher on the fire.
- And never be afraid to call us! If you cannot put out the fire on your own, evacuate your family to a safe distance and then call 9-1-1. Do NOT re-enter your home until we are on scene and tell you it is safe to do so.