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Knowing how to put out a grease fire is crucial to keeping your kitchen safe. These fires can worsen rapidly, making a regular cooking session dangerous. Knowing how to handle this incident is critical to preventing potential disasters.
If you wish to learn how to handle this situation, you have come to the right place. This guide will explain why cooking fires start and how to put them out safely.
Beyond the immediate steps, it will also emphasize the critical aspect of preparation. Being prepared with knowledge and tools is essential for this situation.
What is a Grease Fire?
It occurs when cooking oil or fat reaches its ignition point and combusts. Unlike other types of fires, such as those fueled by paper or wood, it has distinct characteristics that demand special attention. It is especially dangerous because water cannot extinguish it.
Note that traditional firefighting methods may not work when dealing with this fire. Water can lead to violent splattering when introduced to hot oil or fat, only exacerbating the fire. You must understand how it works and use the right methods and tools to handle it correctly.
How Do Grease Fires Start?
These fires are dangerous yet preventable with a good understanding of their origins. Below are some instances that trigger the occurrence of these fires.
High Cooking Temperatures
These fires typically start when cooking oil or fats reach extremely high temperatures. The oil can become hotter and ignite when frying or deep-frying. Once it reaches this critical temperature, it can catch fire spontaneously.
Overheating Cooking Oil
Overheating cooking oil is also a common culprit. Leaving oil unattended on high heat can gradually increase temperature. If you overheat oil, you create an environment conducive to grease fires.
Oil Splatters and Drips
Splatters and oil drips around the stove or oven can also contribute to the onset of such a fire. These tiny droplets can catch fire and spread when they touch something hot.
Ignition from Flammable Materials
Sometimes, if flammable materials are near a heat source, it can trigger such kind of fire. A kitchen towel can catch fire if it is too close to a hot burner. The fire can then spread to nearby cooking oils or fats.
Inadequate Equipment Maintenance
Grease fire on a grill or fryer is also a real concern. If you don’t clean these appliances, grease can build up and increase the fire risk. It’s important to clean and maintain these appliances regularly to prevent disasters.
How to Safely Extinguish It
After knowing the dangers and causes of these fires, let’s learn how to put them out. Knowing what to do in a crisis is crucial for your safety.
1. Stay Calm
Maintaining composure is advised when you put out a grease fire. Panicking can lead to hurried decisions, increasing the risk of escalation. Take a moment to inhale deeply and focus on the steps necessary for a secure resolution.
2. Turn Off the Heat Source
Immediately turn off the heat source. This simple yet critical step is fundamental in halting the fire’s progression.
3. Cover with a Metal Lid
Using a metal lid to cover the flames is another effective strategy. This action cuts off the oxygen supply, aiding in extinguishing the fire. Steer clear of glass lids, as they may shatter due to the intense heat.
4. Use a Grease Fire Extinguisher
Equip your kitchen with a designated fire extinguisher. To use, point the extinguisher at the bottom and move it back and forth. Keep going until the flames are gone.
5. Baking Soda as an Option
For smaller, more manageable fires, consider using baking soda. Sprinkle the baking soda over the flames to extinguish the fire. Ensure you have ample baking soda, especially when dealing with a larger fire.
6. Avoid Using Water
One of the cardinal rules when dealing with this fire is never to use water. Water on a grease fire can worsen the flames and splatter hot grease.
7. Never Use Flour
Despite common misconceptions, flour is not a suitable extinguishing agent for these fires. Using flour can make the situation worse. It creates a dust cloud that can catch fire and spread.
How to Prevent It
Prevention is key to avoiding the potential dangers of these fires. Let’s explore some ways to keep your kitchen free from fire threats.
Clean as You Go
Practice the “clean as you go” approach. Clean any oil spills or splatters in cooking areas to reduce the risk of grease fires.
Regular Appliance Maintenance
Regularly maintain cooking appliances like ovens and grills. Clean these appliances well to remove grease buildup and reduce ignition risk. Remember to check your smoke detectors, too! This tool goes a long way in preventing fire-related problems.
Monitor Cooking Temperatures
Avoid overheating cooking oil, particularly during frying or deep-frying. To keep the oil from catching fire, use a good kitchen thermometer to check its temperature.
Invest in a Grease Splatter Guard
If you want an easy hack on how to stop a grease fire, use a splatter guard. This tool eliminates oil splatters and prevents grease from touching a hot surface and catching fire.
Keep Flammable Items Away
Keep flammable items away from any potential heat sources. Reducing flammable objects in your kitchen lowers the chance of accidental fires.
Store Cooking Oils Safely
Store cooking oils in cool, dark places away from heat sources. Put them away from the stove or hot appliances to lower the chance of oil catching fire.
We Are Your Partner in Grease Fire Safety!
During fire-related emergencies, it is important to have a reliable partner. United Restoration understands the urgency and sensitivity of these fire-related incidents. Our professional team is ready to work with you and help restore your property after fires.
We are experts in checking the damage and employing good strategies to restore homes. You can trust United Restoration for fast and reliable service. We’ll then make sure any fire does not interrupt you.
Understanding how to put out a grease fire is just one piece of the fire safety puzzle. Being prepared and having a reliable partner can make a big difference during unexpected disasters. Contact us today to learn more.