The Do’s And Don’ts Of A Grease Fire
Every year, about $463 million dollars are spent on fire damage recovery from household kitchen fires. About 1 in 5 cooking fires are caused by grease. Although most people know how to put out a grease fire, that knowledge is forgotten when actually responding to a fire outbreak. In emergencies, our brain goes to “recall” mode. In recall mode, we only remember topics that have been repeated over and over again. So, in efforts to make grease fire responses readily accessible in our recall centers, we at Kade Cleaning Systems would like to take a minute to review proper methods for handling grease fires in Lee’s Summit homes.
- Pay attention. Attention levels range from riding a rollercoaster to sitting in a miserably dull lecture hall. When cooking with grease, we recommend aiming for somewhere closer to the rollercoaster side of the spectrum.
- Remove moisture. Water+ grease= major problem. Never put frozen food into hot grease or you’ll find yourself with a sputtering mess.
- Monitor the temperature. Look up online the appropriate temperature for the kind of grease used. Purchase an inexpensive thermometer to watch as you’re cooking.
- Heat oil slowly. Don’t aim for the cool sound that happens when cold food is put into a hot pan. Pour the oil into the pan before placing the pan on the unit. Take your sweet time heating up the oil to a safe temperature.
- Keep baking soda handy. Baking soda (not baking powder) is an effective way to smother a grease fire. Salt is another alternative that can be effective. Many people have these items readily accessible and in large quantities.
- Smother the fire. Use the lid of a pot or pan to smother the flames.
- Store an extinguisher nearby. If the flames are too big to smother, use a fire extinguisher. Whether you’re cooking with grease or not, it’s a good idea to have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of overdone brownies or extra crispy chicken.
- Keep it clean. Many grease fires happen because of built up residue. Before cooking, wipe off countertops and stove tops to prevent fire hazards.
- Don’t use water. Rule #1 with putting out a grease fire is to never in a million years use water to put out a grease fire. Water is more dense than oil, so it quickly sinks to the bottom of the pan, causing burning oil to splatter all over you and your kitchen. The natural fire response is to use water. Don’t do it.
- Don’t take the burning pot/pan outside. First of all, that seems terrifying. Second, you’ll be nervously shaking, which means it’ll be likely you spill the fire.
- Don’t use glass or plastic lid. Glass may heat up and explode and plastic will melt. Use a metal lid to smother the fire.
- Don’t use baking soda or flour. These kitchen staples are lighter than baking soda and salt, so they will combust.
- Don’t leave the room. When cooking, don’t ever leave grease unattended. Many insurance claims have been filed as a result of lazy cooking.
It’s our hope as well as yours that you never have to experience a grease fire. Thankfully, they’re largely preventable. Simple safety measures can greatly reduce the risk of a fire in your Lees Summit home. However, if you’ve sustained kitchen damage as a result of a grease fire, contact our professional fire damage team to restore your kitchen.
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