Safely Snuffing Out a Grease Fire: What You Need To Know
Of the more than 160,000 house fires caused by cooking each year, 66% begin with the ignition of food or other cooking materials. More often than not, the culprit is grease.
Of course, if you can prevent a cooking fire from occurring, you'll be better off. Some tips for preventing grease fires include the following:
- Stay in the kitchen while the stovetop is in use.
- Keep flammable materials away from the stovetop.
- Before placing foods in hot oil, remove as much moisture as possible.
- Keep the grease at the recommended temperature, and heat it slowly.
- Keep a lid near the grease-filled pot, just in case a fire does break out.
If you cannot prevent a cooking fire, it's important that you know how to respond to one.
How To React When a Grease Fire Breaks Out
If you respond quickly enough, you may be able to extinguish the fire yourself. Some things you can do to combat a fire caused by grease include the following:
- Cover the flames with a cookie sheet or metal lid and leave the pot covered until it has cooled.
- Turn off the source of the heat.
- For smaller fires, pour salt or baking soda on the flames.
- If necessary, spray the flames with a dry chemical fire extinguisher.
Whatever you do, DO NOT try to put out the fire with water. Also, do not attempt to remove the pot from the stove. Also, just because a substance looks like baking soda does not mean it reacts like it. Avoid baking powder, flour and other cooking powders, as using them might make the flames worse.
Calling for Help
If you cannot extinguish the flames yourself, get out of your house as quickly as possible and call 911. You should also call your Longmont, CO fire cleanup crew to mitigate as much secondary damage as possible.