How to Extinguish and Prevent Grease Fires
Grease fires occur while cooking when grease or fat spill out of a pan and hit the heat source or simply get too hot in the pot or pan.
The Unique Danger of Grease Fires
Grease fires are especially dangerous because they can not be put out using water or fanning with air. These methods will only strengthen the fire. Instead, follow the instructions below to put out a grease fire and save your home and health.
Step One: Assess the State of the Fire
The first thing that you should do after seeing a grease fire is to assess how large and dangerous it is. If it is small and seems to be able to be contained, continue with the following steps.
If it seems out-of-control or has a lot of unlit greases or fat nearby, do not attempt to extinguish the fire. Do not put yourself in danger under any circumstances. Immediately call 911 and describe the situation to the operator.
Don’t risk your life to save your kitchen or other material items.
Step Two: Turn Off the Heat Source
Assuming that you feel comfortable extinguishing the fire yourself, immediately turn off the heat source that is causing the flame.
It’s also a good idea to put on any protective gear you can to protect your arm, such as an oven mitt.
Step Three: Cover the Flame with a Metal Lid
Once the heat is turned off, cover the flame with a metal lid to suffocate it of oxygen. Do not use a glass lid as it has the potential to shatter when exposed to a flame.
Step Four: Use Baking Soda or Table Salt
If smothering the fire doesn’t work, you can use baking soda or table salt to try to smother the fire of oxygen. Grab a hefty amount and pour it directly over the fire. Again, wearing protective gear such as an oven mitt is recommended for this method.
Step Five: Fire Extinguisher
Using a chemical fire extinguisher in your home creates a large mess that can be timely to clean up, so doing so should be the last resort. However, don’t hesitate if you’re unable or uncomfortable to use the other methods listed. After all, cleaning up after an extinguisher is easier than losing your entire kitchen.
If you don’t already have a fire extinguisher, it’s a good idea to purchase one. Click the image to shop for them online.
With all of this in mind, it’s important to always be prepared. Grease fires are always unexpected, so figuring out the best way to handle it when it happens is out of the question.
Always Keep an Eye on Food While Cooking
While it may be tempting to set the food on the stove and head off to do something else, it can be dangerous. To best avoid grease fires, always watch the food that you’re cooking to see if it’s getting too hot and to extinguish a fire early if one were to start.
Keep Extinguisher Materials Nearby
If a fire were to start, the last thing you want to do is run around looking for your baking soda, table salt, or fire extinguisher. So, it’s important to keep these items nearby the kitchen. It’s especially recommended to always keep an open packet of baking soda right near the stove as a precaution.
Educate Your Family and Friends
Knowledge is power, but only when it’s shared. So, share this article with your friends and family to ensure that they’ll be as prepared as you are in the case of a grease fire.