Cooking for the most part is not a dangerous activity when taking the proper precautions. However, even when taking the right safety precautions while cooking, fires can still happen. Sometimes flammable materials like grease can set on fire while you are cooking and cause major damage to your property.
It is important to be aware of how kitchen fires start and what to do if you experience a kitchen fire. Taking preventative action is the most effective way to protect your home from cooking fires like grease fires. If you like to cook, you should know the basics of how to prevent grease fires, how to put them out in case you are faced with one, and what not to do so that you can safely put out a fire yourself and prevent injuries. It is also important to be aware that sometimes a grease fire can get out of control. If you are unable to control it, you should call emergency services right away so it can be put out.
Preventing Grease Fires in the Kitchen
Fires usually happen when grease gets too hot when cooking. Usually, grease will first start to boil, then it will smoke before catching on fire. Although oils do have a smoke point of 450°F, most will start smoking around 375°F.
Here are some tips to prevent fires in your kitchen:
- When cooking in the kitchen, make sure to stay there for the duration of the cooking process, this is especially important if you are heating oil in a pan or deep-fat frying.
- Make sure that you are alert when you are using the stove. Do not use it if you are intoxicated or sleepy.
- Any item that could set on fire should be kept away from the stovetop.
- Always make sure to remove any moisture from the food before you put it in oil. Frozen food should not be put into hot grease.
- If you are deep-fat frying or pan-frying, make sure to use a heavy pot and a thermometer so you are aware of the oil temperature. Always monitor the oil and if you see smoke or smell something acrid, turn down the heat and remove the pot from the burner.
- Keep the lid for your pot nearby so that you can use it in case a fire starts.
- Food should always be gently added to oil, so it does not splatter.
- Children should be kept away from the stove while cooking.
How to Put Out a Grease Fire
When grease fires occur, they may be small enough for you to put out right away which helps avoid significant property damage. Here are some steps to take to put out a grease fire:
- Turn the heat off. Don’t move the pot or pan so you do not get grease on you.
- Cover the pot with a metal lid. This will help put out the fire.
- Pour on baking soda. This will only work if the fire is small, otherwise you will need to use a fire extinguisher.
- Spray the pot that has set on fire with a Class B Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher if the fire is getting out of control.
- Call 911 if the fire gets out of control and you are unable to put it out with a fire extinguisher.
Things you should not do in case of a kitchen fire:
- Do not try to put out the fire with water.
- Do not try to move the pan or pot outside.
- Do not use flour, baking powder, or other cooking powders to put out the fire as they can make it worse.
- Do not use water to put out a grease fire.
You should be aware that many home cooking fire injuries happen while the victim was trying to put out the fire themselves. Usually, they sustain burns to the hands and lower arms. Make sure that you are always trying to put out the fire safely and if you are unable to put it out, call emergency services for help.
Call the Professionals for Help
Have you experienced a fire at your home or business? ServiceMaster Disaster Restoration and Recovery (DRR) can help you clean up and restore your property after a fire. Grease fires can wreak havoc on your property. If you know how to extinguish a grease fire and you’ve already done it yourself, you may still have property damage. This is where we can help. We will arrive quickly so that we can start the cleaning and restoration process at your home or business.
For all of your fire damage restoration needs, make sure to reach out to ServiceMaster DRR today at (800) 439-8833 or visit our website to learn more. We are available 24/7, and our professional technicians are IICRC certified. We serve home and business owners in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara County, CA.