How to Extinguish and Prevent Grease Fires

How to Extinguish and Prevent Grease Fires

Grease fireGrease 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.

Table Baking soda

Step Five: Fire Extinguisher

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.

Be Prepared

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.

Practice Fire Safety This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Fire SafetyThanksgiving is the time to gather friends and family around the table, show appreciation, and of course cook and eat some amazing food. Every year, many people break out old family favorites and try their hand at new recipes. While all of this cooking can be fun, it comes with a fair amount of risk.

To stay safe while cooking the holiday meal this year, remember the following tips.

Never Leave Cooking Food Unattended

With family arriving and all of the commotion that comes with having a house full of people, it can be tempting to leave the kitchen to greet guests and chat. It may be unrealistic for everyone to stay in the kitchen throughout the whole day, but always make sure that there is at least one person keeping an eye on cooking foods. A few minutes is all that it takes for a fire to become uncontrollable.

Follow the Directions

Many fires are started every year by people deep frying a turkey for the first time and not following the directions. Just about any recipe that involves grease and heat has the potential to become dangerous if the directions are not followed exactly. “Winging it” can become risky when there are so many activities taking place at once, so take the time to read and follow directions.

Watch Fabrics around Flames and Burners

Many families have the tradition of getting dressed up for Thanksgiving. This can be problematic if clothing is loose fitting or if there are accessories that can fall off. Remove jackets and hats and be mindful of having fabrics near open flames or heat sources when cooking. Also be careful when putting pot holders, oven mitts, and towels down to keep these articles away from heat and flames.

Keep Fire Extinguishers on Hand

Fire extinguishers should be readily available so that they can be reached in an instant when cooking Thanksgiving dinner. It is important that several people understand how to use the fire extinguishers. It is also critical that everyone knows what types of fires different fire extinguishers should be used for.

Know How to Put a Fire Out

Different types of fires require different methods and substances to extinguish. Water may be useful for putting out wood fires, but this is generally unhelpful when you are cooking. Baking soda and chemical fire extinguishers can be used to snuff out grease fires and oven fires. Electrical fires should be smothered with a fireproof blanket.

Removing the heat source by turning off the oven, burner, or fryer may also be necessary.

If a fire becomes too large, prioritize the safety of the family and evacuate the home. Emergency services can put the fire out and the kitchen can always be restored later.

Practice fire safety when cooking this Thanksgiving to keep your family and home safe.

What You Should Know Before Starting a Bonfire

Bonfire Safety TipsThe temperatures may still be pretty warm during the day, but are starting to cool off just a little bit at night. For bonfire lovers, this makes it the perfect time to heat up the fire pit. Fires can be a wonderful compliment to autumn nights in Florida, but there are some things that you should know to protect yourself, your family, and your home before stoking the flames.

There May Be Burn Restrictions

Burn restrictions can vary by area and season. When the weather is drier, it may be illegal to have a bonfire even in places that normally allow it. In some places, a permit may also be required for burning of any kind. Be sure to look into the local regulations so that you do not incur fines or put the environment and neighborhood at risk.

Escaped Debris Is a Leading Cause of Wildfires

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, escaped debris is a leading cause of Florida wildfires. The debris can come from burning leaves, paper, or bits of bark coming loose. If the fire is too close to trees, the home, or other structures the loose debris may start a fire that can be tough to put out.

Waiting for a Fire to Burn out Is Dangerous

Leaving a fire unattended is always dangerous, especially when going to bed. When a fire starts to burn low, many people feel that it is safe to walk away and leave the fire to burn out, but the heat and flames may still catch debris and structures on fire. Before leaving the vicinity of a bonfire, be sure to extinguish the flames using water and stir the ash to make sure that every ember is out.

Having a Hose Close Is Smart

When enjoying a bonfire, it is smart to keep a hose, bucket of water, or other means of extinguishing the flames nearby. This way you will be able to quickly put out the fire if it gets too large or if unintended materials catch fire. Make sure that the hose can be turned on quickly, or keep a fire extinguisher nearby if the fire is very far away from the spigot.

Bonfires Can Turn to House Fires Quickly

If a bonfire catches a home on fire, it can engulf the home within a matter of minutes and cause untold devastation. This can necessitate home restorations and possibly even make it necessary to rebuild. Most people that have lived through house fires have been amazed at the speed at which the fire spread.

If you and your family will be burning bonfires this autumn season, make sure to take precautions to stay safe!

 

What You Can Expect after a Fire

4Having your home damaged due to fire is a traumatic experience. The toll this catastrophe will take on you can be measured in physical loss as well as emotional trauma. It’s surreal and very scary which makes it difficult knowing what to do next.

Physical Damage

When a fire tears through your home it leaves a path of damage and destruction you may never have thought possible. A fire’s temperature can exceed well over 1,200 degrees with this heat causing more damage than the flames themselves. Smoke weaves its way into every available space in your home as well, leaving stains and smells that are difficult to remove.

Coming Home

After the fire has been completely extinguished and you’re allowed to return home, it will be hard to not be heartbroken. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may not be allowed back into your home due structural integrity. To prevent further damage from the fire being put out, you will want to act fast.

Who To Contact

Call your insurance company first. They will talk you through emergency lodging and living expenses. If they aren’t able to provide timely assistance, organizations like the American Red Cross offers assistance with expedited services.

Clean-Up Services

When you contact FLA-CAT for a damage evaluation plan and demolition, we will remove all debris and material affected by the fire. Every area affected by smoke contamination is contained by a thermal fogging and seal coating detoxification process. Any odors will be completely removed from your home.

Emotional Recovery

The resulting trauma of a fire is not an easy thing you can shake off and you’re not expected to. You can work through your anxiety and stress with meditation and deep breathing exercises. Communicate your thoughts with your close friends and family. It’s important that you don’t isolate yourself during such tragedy by taking full-advantage of your support system.

Reconstruction

Your property can be replaced and rebuilt. FLA-CAT provides the industry’s best reconstruction team. We’ll return your house back into to the place you called home before the fire. Any part of your home that was damaged can be brought back to its former glory. There is no need stress – we have you covered.

You’re Not Alone

Getting your home back to the way you remember it being is what FLA-CAT does better than anyone else. Don’t let the task at hand seem overwhelming or stressful. As traumatizing as a fire is, we have the resources to return your home to the way it used to be while keeping you stress-free.

If you’ve had a fire emergency or just have some general questions, give FLA-CAT a call. We’re here for you!

4th of July Fire Safety

Fire SafetyThe Fourth of July can be a time filled with food, family, and fun. However, complications can arise when you add fireworks into the mix. Each year, Americans will spend over 10 million dollars on fireworks as a celebration of their independence. While it is a great tradition when done safely, there are several potential risks involved with shooting fireworks. Adhering to a few simple guidelines can reduce the risk of accidents putting a damper on your parade.

Risks Associated with Fireworks

Most states have their own guidelines to protect people during the Fourth of July. In drier states, it is illegal to buy or use fireworks due to the potential for wildfires. Other states may limit purchases to those above a certain age, 18 years old in some states and 21 in others. Many of the risks can be mitigated with a bit of planning and preparedness.

The most common risks associated with fireworks include:

  • Fire in areas with drier climates
  • Burn injuries
  • Cuts or punctures from being shot with fireworks
  • Misuse by underage or intoxicated persons
  • Falling debris

Fire Risks

The most serious risk involved in a Fourth of July celebration is the risk of a wildfire, especially in drier areas. Fireworks may rain down hot embers or non-extinguished fragments that could smolder and start fires that don’t fully develop until after the festivities have stopped. This can be a huge risk to homes and neighborhoods, especially in the evening after a day of celebrations. It is imperative to know the weather conditions of your area and to educate anyone handling fireworks with proper techniques and safety procedures.

Be Smart with Alcohol

The consumption of alcohol has long been associated with the Fourth of July. While many people enjoy it responsibly, alcohol can lower the judgment of those consuming it. This may lead to people being careless with fireworks, sometimes shooting them at people or objects. Other times, intoxicated people may behave in riskier ways than a sober person resulting in injury, fire, or possibly both. Whenever possible, fireworks should not be used by persons who have been consuming alcohol.

After an Accident

If you or someone you know has suffered property damage as a result of a fire, Florida Catastrophe can help. They are experts in fire damage, flood damage, mold removal and more. Losing your home is painful enough. The restoration process doesn’t have to be. Call Florida Catastrophe for a consultation and let them begin the process of building your new life.

Barbecue Grilling Safety Tips

Barbecue Grilling SafetySummer is quickly approaching and as the heat starts to rise, people all across America are firing up their grills. Barbecues are a great way to bring friends and family together during the summer. However, barbecuing often brings with it its own set of dangers that anyone involved in a barbecue should be aware of in order to avoid injury or property damage. By following these barbecue grilling safety guidelines, you and your family can be sure to enjoy a safe and fun-filled summer day.

Avoid Flammable Areas

The biggest danger associate with barbecuing grilling safety is the risk of starting a fire. For this reason, it is imperative to never barbecue indoors or areas that are dry or densely wooded. Careless barbecue behavior can translate into danger for everyone in the vicinity. Last year, forest fires devastated areas of the United States in mountainous or drought-ridden areas. Many people lost their homes and the fires caused millions of dollars’ worth of damage.

Know How to Handle Flammable Materials

Whether using charcoal, wood, or propane, it is important to know how to properly handle each incendiary medium. Charcoal should be handled with caution and disposed of properly as it can smolder and cause fires after people think it has been extinguished. Only lighter fluid designated as charcoal lighter fluid should be used. Propane should be handled cautiously as it can leak and combust or fill the area with toxic fumes. Wood fires can be dangerous due to erratic burning and smoldering ash. Also, if it is not properly extinguished, it can smolder and spread to the surrounding areas.

Keep the Grilling Area Clear

Make sure that children and adults alike understand the importance of keeping the barbecue area clear. This could include people crowding around the grill, children running near the grill, or people throwing a ball around the grill. Any of these activities could result in someone being burned or the surrounding areas catching fire. The barbecue grill should be kept away from the main areas of activity and firm rules should be in place to limit the amount of people around the grill.

Keep the Grill Clean

Grease and ash can accumulate on the trays and trough of a dirty grill. When the grease gets reheated, it can splatter and cause fires and severe burns. Cleaning the grill after each use is the best way to ensure that these kinds of injuries are prevented.

If you have experienced property damage as a result of a fire, don’t hesitate to call Florida Catastrophe (Fla-Cat). They have years of experience in getting people’s homes restored to the way it was before the fire. Call today and speak with a representative who will help you with you case.

4 Summertime Campfire Safety Tips

Campfire Safety

As summer fast approaches, so too does camping season. Florida is a prime state for camping, with its beautiful landscapes and warm, inviting weather. Even for families, camping in the backyard can be just as fun as the real deal.

But unfortunately, camping in an form can be dangerous for those who aren’t well-versed on safety tips, especially when it’s time to light the campfire and chow down on some s’mores. Keep reading for some key camping safety tips to keep in mind while you enjoy the great outdoors this summer.

1. Build Fires in Safe Spots

It’s critical to make sure that you choose a safe spot to build your fire, whether it’s an open fire or one that uses fuel-burning appliances for cooking. Rule number one is to ensure that the fire is far enough from your tent to make sure you’re not at risk of spark ignition, heat, and flames. Under no circumstances should any heating devices or flames be used inside a tent. Additionally, make sure you’ve purchased a tent with flame-retardant fabric to avoid any unexpected emergencies.

2. Always Attend a Campfire

It may sound like campfire safety common sense, but it can be easy to get distracted and fail to keep a constant eye on the fire. While a safe spot should prevent a fire from spreading vertically or laterally, keeping an eye is always important as these issues can still arise unexpectedly.

3. Keep the Fire Safely Maintained

Going hand-in-hand with attending the fire, you should be sure that it’s properly maintained for a steady, enjoyable flow. Once the fire is going, add larger dry wood pieces to maintain a steady burn. Do not cut live trees or use branches from live trees to light your fire. Make sure that it always stays at a manageable size to avoid surprises.

4. Extinguish the Fire Safely

The best way to extinguish your fire is to let all the wood burn into ash. Douse the fire with plenty of water – including all embers, even those that aren’t glowing red. Continue pouring water until the fire stops making a hissing sound, which will indicate that the flame is completely gone. Use a shovel to stir the ashes and to scrape logs and sticks to ensure that embers are removed.

It’s critical that fires are not buried with dirt or other materials, as fires that are still lit may continue to smolder until they reach the surface, which can lead to a wildfire!

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