A grease fire is no joking matter. It’s important to be prepared and know how to proceed if a grease fire occurs in your kitchen. One of the best ways to fight grease fires in the home is to prevent fires so they don’t start in the first place. However, no situation is perfect, and it’s good to have emergency procedures in place. Also, remember to turn on the range hood in your kitchen whenever you’re cooking for proper ventilation.
Grease fires happen when a large amount of grease in a pan, or built up grease on kitchen equipment, gets too hot and ignites. These can be scary because they reach high temperatures. Also, grease fires cannot be put out in the same ways as normal fires. For example, you never use water to put out a grease fire. Grease fires can also spread very quickly.
One of the best methods of preventing a grease fire is being present. Don’t set something to fry and walk away; frying is one of the biggest causes of home kitchen fires. The biggest cause of home kitchen fires is unattended cooking. Stay near the cooking surface and have a lid on hand for covering a grease fire (don’t use a glass lid because it could shatter with the heat). Signs indicating a grease fire may occur including smoke and a weird smell. What should you do if you see smoke coming from cooking oil? Immediately turn off the burner and move the pan/pot containing the cooking oil off of that burner.
Using water to put out a grease fire will have catastrophic effects. This will cause the grease to splash and you could be seriously injured. It’s possible to stop a small grease fire by covering it with a lid for pots/pans or using baking soda. Do not use flour. A fire extinguisher may work, but it should be a class B dry chemical fire extinguisher.
Recognize that you may not be able to put out the fire. The reality is that these fires can grow and get out of control very quickly. You may think you’re in control but it can get worse fast. Know when to stop fighting and call 911. Evacuate the entire home; make sure no one stays inside or goes back inside. Wait for emergency personnel to arrive. If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop and roll before you get seriously injured.
In general, keep the range hood on during cooking at all times for air ventilation. More than half of fires started with cooking start on the range. Keep your cooking surface clean, be careful when cooking with oil and use a thermometer. The range hood will remove smoke, smells and grease from the air. This also keeps grease off of your appliances and your cabinetry. If you don’t have a kitchen range hood, browse Range Hoods Inc. We carry all types of range hoods and are here to help you create your personal kitchen.