Cooking is said to be the number one cause of fire and injuries in many homes. According to statistics, over 160,000 homes are annually affected by fires that result from cooking. A large percentage of these infernos starts with food ignition or some other cooking materials, mostly from cooking with grease. It is essential that you know how to quickly respond to fire emergencies as that will save you from huge losses. But how do you stop grease fire and keep your home safe?
What to Do & How to Stop A Grease Fire
No one plans for infernos to occur, but when they do, the fire spreads instantly. Here are important steps on how to stop a grease fire and knowing what to do.
- ABC Kitchen Fire Extinguisher. Every household should have a readily available extinguisher.
There are 3 types of extinguishers that tells you the types of fires its effective against; A., B or C.
A Type: Regular combustibles like cloth, paper, wood.
B Type: Flammable liquids, such as gasoline or cooking oil.
C Type: Live electricity
Never used a fire extinguisher? Learn how to properly operate a fire extinguisher.
- Cover the Flames. The first step to putting out a fire is to try to remove all oxygen from the flame and prevent it from spreading to other places of the kitchen and the house at large. So if you have a metal lid or any other metallic equipment that can be used for covering, use that. Ensure to leave the lid top on until it has cooled or otherwise you’ll burn yourself.
Turn OFF Heating Source. Whether you were using a cooker or stove, you should turn it off immediately.
- If the fire hadn’t spread so much, sprinkle some salt or dump baking soda on it to cool it down. But in cases where it was big, you need to reach out for a grease fire extinguisher. When in doubt, run to safety away (outside).
The Do’s and Don’ts In Case of a Grease Fire
Fire spreads very fast. And all it takes is just one wrong move, and you could have the whole of your house burnt down to ashes. So to avoid that, you should be aware and keep off the things that can cause the inferno to escalate.
Do Not Use Water On a Grease Fire
Or any other inferno for that matter. No matter what you do, never think of stopping the flames with water. Why? Water contains oxygen and a lot of it. So when you pour water on the fire, instead of cooling down, you’ll have powered it even more.
Never Attempt to Move The Burning Pot/Pan Outside
Many people make this common mistake because it seems logical at the time. However, the burning oil could spill, and it can burn you and other flammable objects it comes into contact with.
Never Swat At The Fire With A Fabric Like A Towel or An Apron
What happens if you do, you’ll be fanning the flame, and it will spread even more. And the material could also catch fire. Also, remember not to place a wet cloth over a grease fire to snuff oxygen, it will only but charge it.
Only Use Baking Soda and Salt - Nothing Else!
What to put on a grease fire? Some people attempt to put off the flames by using baking powder and other cooking powders. But remember those have a different chemical composition and make-up. So they may not react similarly and may make the fire worse. If you have no baking soda or salt, do not be tempted to use any other powder
Three out of five non-fatal fire injuries are caused when the victims tried to extinguish the fire themselves. The most common burns were on the hands and lower arms. So if the flames are not manageable, here is what you need to do.
What to Do If There Is A Grease Fire?
- Exit the Area. Get you and your family members out of the house immediately to avoid injuries or loss of life. Do not try to be a hero
- Once you’ve ensured that everyone is out, close the door to contain the fire and keep it from spreading.
- Call 911 once you are at a safe distance from the inferno.
- Don’t go back to the area unless the fire extinguishers have contained the fire.
These steps are essential to help you fight off the inferno and prevent you from sustaining injuries. But there are some prevention measures you can take to ensure that grease fire doesn’t occur in the first place.
Tips for Preventing Grease Fires
How do grease fires start? How about learning tips on preventing grease fires.
- Never leave the kitchen stove unattended. When frying, boiling, reheating or doing any other kind of cooking, do not leave the kitchen until you are done. Grease fires can happen in less than 30 seconds so do not leave your food unattended to.
- Use a heavy cooking pot. Light pots are likely to get easily burnt. Then also remember to use a lid when cooking as it contains the grease and cuts it off from the oxygen that can cause it to flame. But you should note that a grease fire can also occur with the lead on the pot if the oil is too hot.
- Do not cook when drinking or sleep-deprived.
- Don’t throw in food carelessly when the oil is hot. It will splatter and can lead to burns.
- Drain all moisture if you can from the food before dipping it into the hot oil. Also, avoid putting frozen foods into hot grease. ##
- Do not over-heat the grease beyond the maximum recommended temperature. If you notice any smoke or oil smells, it simply means that the oil is too hot and therefore you should turn the burner down. You can even use a clip on thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil.
- Keep children distant from the stove when it is lit.
In addition to these, how to put out a grease fire tips, it is essential that you are aware of the times and seasons that grease fires are likely to occur. Mostly it is during the holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. So, always alert at these times.
Ensure that you are using the right cooking techniques to keep the fire at away. Also, it is always a good habit to keep salt and baking powder nearby, which is a non-professional best way to put out a grease fire. In case an inferno occurs, you can easily use these things to snuff it out.
Check out more information on Home Cooking Fires on NFPA
Leading Factors & Report Highlight figures. November 2018