A Couple of Ways to Extinguish a Grease Fire
One of the most common types of kitchen fires is the grease fire. As oil and grease collect on your stovetop or inside your oven, it presents an increasing risk. When you're heating food or preheating your appliance, the oils get closer and closer to their flashpoint. This is the temperature that it takes for the oil to burst into flame.
What To Do and What To Avoid
One of the most crucial things you need to know about putting out a grease fire in your home is to NEVER put water on that fire. Water doesn’t mix with oil; instead, the water will sink below the oil, and as it evaporates, the moisture sends burning oil throughout your kitchen. Instead of using water, use one of the following techniques:
- Cover the flames with a metal lid. The seal between the dish containing the burning oil and the metal lid must be tight enough to prevent oxygen from reaching the flames.
- Pour baking soda or salt over the fire. Baking soda puts out the flames because it contains carbon dioxide, cutting off the oxygen supply. You'll need a lot of baking soda. Keep a #10 can or one of the big boxes from the laundry aisle. Salt absorbs heat, and you'll only need about one cup to put out the fire.
- You can avoid a lot of trouble and damage when you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. It's important to have the right type of extinguisher, however. You could choose a multipurpose extinguisher; just be sure there is a B or K in the label.
There are several things you may have in the kitchen that can make matters worse. For example, do not use flour, baking powder, or sugar. The chemical reaction between these ingredients and the grease will make the fire worse instead of better. Some people suggest draping a damp cloth over the flames. However, if any water from the cloth drips or splashes onto the flames, the fire may explode in your face.
Get Help When You Need It
As soon as you feel that the grease fire is out of your control, call 911, and make sure that members of your household safely leave the home. If your home suffers any damage, contact fire cleanup professionals to handle repairs.