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How to Safely Put Out a Grease Fire in Four Simple Steps

The Do's and Don'ts of a Grease Fire




Cooking is considered the number one cause of home fires and injuries with over 172,000 house fires reported annually.  In fact, it was reported that cooking caused 49% of home fires, 20% of home fire deaths, and 42% of home fire injuries. Most of these fires were caused by grease.


It is important to know how to quickly put out a kitchen fire.  It could make the difference between life or death. Follow these four steps to put out a grease/kitchen fire and please share them with your friends and family in an effort to keep your home and community safe.



Do’s


  1. Cover the flames with a metal lid or cookie sheet. Oxygen fuels a fire so you want to smother it. Do not use a glass lid or plastic, because glass could burst from the pressure and plastic can melt. Leave the metal cover on until it has cooled.

  2. Turn off the heat source as soon as you can safely reach it.

  3. It it’s a small or manageable fire, pour baking soda or salt on it to smother the flames.

  4. As a last resort, spray the fire with a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher - Pull the pin, Aim at the flames, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep side to side (PASS).


Don’ts


  1. Do not put water on a grease fire!  Ever.

  2. Do not attempt to move the pot or pan outside.

  3. Do not use flour, baking powder or cooking powders that resemble baking soda or salt, because they have a different chemical makeup and could make the fire worse.


What to do if the fire is inside your oven:


  1. Do not open the door to your oven.

  2. Turn off the heat source.

  3. Allow the enclosed space to starve the fire. It’s like putting a cover over a candle.

  4. Watch and wait for the fire to die down.


What to do if you cannot put out the fire:


  1. Leave the house!  Get yourself and everyone else out of the house as quickly and safely as possible.

  2. Close the door as you leave to help contain the fire. (Oxygen fuels fire).

  3. Call 911 as soon as you are at a safe distance from the house.

  4. Do not re-enter your home until the fire has been contained by firefighters.


Tips on how to prevent a grease fire:


  • Never leave food cooking unattended.

  • Be alert and sober when cooking. Never cook when you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol.

  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop.

  • Heat the oil slowly.

  • Add food gently to prevent splatter.

  • Remove as much moisture as possible from the food before putting it in hot oil. Do not put frozen foods into hot grease.

  • Keep the grease at the recommended temperature.  If you see any smoke or the oil smells, it is an indication that it is too hot. Immediately turn off the burner, remove pan from heat source, and let it cool down.

  • Keep a lid near the pan you’re cooking with so that it is accessible if a fire starts.

  • Always keep children away from the stove and out of the kitchen while cooking.


A fire can be scary and every second counts, but by following these safety tips you can help to prevent a fire and lessen the chances of serious or life-threatening injuries.






REFERENCES:


  1. How to put out a grease fire safely: ABT. Abt.com. (n.d.). https://www.abt.com/learn/how-to-put-out-a-grease-fire-safely

  2. Rod Brouhard, E.-P. (2022, October 7). How to safely stop a grease fire in your home. Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-put-out-a-grease-fire-1298709

  3. YouTube. (2018, May 7). How to safely put out a kitchen fire. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFwkGTEles8





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