Knowing to stop, drop, and roll is one thing, but do you know what to do if a grease fire flares up in your home?
Our South Dakota fire restoration team reminds you to NEVER use water on grease fires, and gave us the full rundown of other dos and don’ts for this dangerous kitchen fire.
Again, do not use water! On the off chance your ran to the Intek blog because you’re staring down a grease fire this moment, we want to make that abundantly clear. Grease fires are always a potential hazard when you cook with vegetable oil or animal fat.
Preventing a Grease Fire
Of course, the best safety measure our fire restoration team can recommend is preventing the fire in the first place. The smoking point for vegetable oil is about 450°F, while animal fats start to go at 375°F.
Don’t leave your range unattended when cooking with these grease bases, and consider using a cooking thermometer to keep track of the heat. Remove your heavy cookware from heat immediately if it starts to smoke or smell like it’s burning.
If Fire Breaks Out
If a kitchen fire does break out, you need to handle it carefully. Here’s our best advice.
- Turn off your heat source. Trying to remove the pot or pan from heat will risk splashing burning oil onto yourself or anybody else around, so hold off.
- If the flames are small, baking soda can extinguish them if you pour it on liberally. Covering your cookware with a metal lid might also help, as the fire will die out if you block oxygen.
- Spray the base of the flames with a class B dry chemical fire extinguisher if things are still out of hand. Your kitchen will be contaminated by the spray, but that can be dealt with easier than the room being reduced to ashes.
- Leave the house and call 911 if you lose control of the fire. Wait to deal with the fire damage until everyone is safe.
- Again, do not try to put the grease fire out with water. It’s more likely to cause the burning oil to splash, spreading your grease fire. Rapidly vaporizing water might also feed the fire.
- Don’t move the pot or pan, as burning fat or oil can splash about your home. The impulse to move your problem from the range to the sink or out the front door might be high, but you’re risking severe burns and plenty of property damage.
- Don’t try to substitute baking powder. Flour will add to the fire, as will most baking products. Baking soda is the only common kitchen substance that will give you an extinguishing reaction.
If You Do Experience a Kitchen Fire
When cooking takes a bad turn and flames do break out, follow the advice above to deal with the danger. Once you have the grease fire under control, contact 911 if anyone has experienced a heavy burn from the oil or fire.
Once everyone is 100% safe, you’ll want to address your kitchen.
Fire damage is an unpleasant burden in any circumstance, but the Intek fire restoration team is here to restore normalcy. Whether damaged by fire or smoke, in a residential or commercial kitchen, we know how to make the best of a bad situation.
Please, don’t hesitate to reach out if we can help (or if you have questions about fire restoration).