The primary culprit for grease fires is leaving a pan unattended when cooking. The fire starts by letting the oil get too hot. Since combustibles are often in the vicinity, it becomes easy for the fire to spread. How to extinguish a grease fire will depend on the type of fire caused.
How to Extinguish a Grease Fire
Grease fires can be classified into two common types, with first starting in the cooking pan itself, and the second under the burner in the drip pan. Drip pan fires can result from neglecting to clean the drip pan regularly. When subsequent cooking takes place, the residue on the drip pan can ignite and cause a grease fire.
In the event that a grease fire does start, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Immediately turn off the burner and place a heavy metal lid or baking tray on it. Protect your hand with an oven mitt or wrapped dish towel. This fast action helps cut off the oxygen and heat and is very helpful in containing the fire fast. Do not try to do the same with a glass lid for that will shatter instead.
- While it may seem the right thing to do in the frenzy of the moment, do not move the pot or carry it outside. Try not to move the pan, for it presents the possibility of splashing yourself or the kitchen with burning oil.
- Among options on what to use on a grease fire, salt and baking soda rank as the best candidates. A grease fire can also be put out by using either of the two, however, this applies to only small fires. Keep some baking soda or salt within easy reach of your cooking surface. Baking soda extinguishes grease fire by giving off carbon dioxide and dousing the fire. Salt snuffs out the flames effectively as it absorbs heat out of the grease.
In case a fire starts to spread, it is important not to put yourself at risk. Instead of trying to contain a large fire personally, call the fire department to handle such a crisis. They will have the equipment and knowledge to best solve how to extinguish a grease fire.
Using Fire Extinguishers for Grease Fires
Whether you are an avid home chef or only cook when needed, it’s advisable to keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen to snuff out any flames that may occur. However, it is important to note that not all fire extinguishers are the same. Use one that is rated for fats, oils, and grease. A fire extinguisher that is not rated for grease fires may contain water, which will actually wind up making the fire worse.
The important thing to remember is that a grease fire is not like a regular fire. Trying to put it out the same way can make it worse. So, never try to extinguish a grease fire with water. Using water on fire splashes the water and spreads the already hot drops of hot oil. This makes the fire bigger and spread faster.
Preventing Grease Fires
When it comes to how to extinguish a grease fire, the best safety in this possible scenario is prevention.
Preventing a grease fire can be done by keeping an eye on your pan. Whenever you heat oil for deep frying or pan frying, stay in the kitchen. Oil typically smokes prior to burning, so if you catch the pan starting to smoke, remove it from the heat source before it catches fire.
To prevent a grease fire caused by the drip pan, make sure to wipe any spills in the pan and around the burner before cooking. Clean any spills carefully as soon as they happen. If your drip pan becomes old or damaged, consider investing in replacements if possible.
Fire Damage Restoration Services in Atlanta
If a fire has damaged your Atlanta-area home, you can get in touch with fire damage services like Tidal Wave Response to provide quality fire damage restoration services promptly. Our team of professionals are trained to deal with fire related incidents and deliver fast fire damage repairs to your property.