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How to Safely Put Out a Kitchen Grease Fire (3 Easy Steps)

Do you know how to put out a fire? In this post, you will learn how to safely put out a grease fire so you can feel more confident in the kitchen.

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We’ve all been there. It happens: a pot of oil is forgotten and left on the stove, where it burns away until it’s too late. The leading cause of injuries and home fires is cooking fires. This includes frying. Although you might not be faced with a grease fire every day, it is important to be prepared.

In this post, you will learn how to properly and safely put out a grease fire and what materials are safe to use to feel more confident in the kitchen.

Image of a person putting out a grease fire with a pan lid. Source: wiki commons.
Image of a person putting out a grease fire with a pan lid. Source: Wiki Commons.

There are a few things that you can do to put out a grease fire safely. First, try to cover the pan with the appropriate lid quickly. Be careful not to burn yourself. If that doesn’t work, try baking soda. This chemical will react with the oil and produce carbon dioxide and water vapor, which will extinguish the fire.

What is a grease fire?

A grease fire is what happens when food or cooking oil ignites. The flames can be intense and quickly spread, creating an unsafe environment where people may become trapped.

When you fry, it is important to remain in the kitchen. Be careful to control the oil temperature and not let the food get too hot. Keep the oil splatter to a minimum. To reduce the chance of a grease fire, always use a lid for frying.

What causes a grease fire?

Grease fires are caused by cooking oil that has become too hot, starts to smoke, and then ignites. Vegetable oils catch fire at around 450 Ferenhite. Animal fats catch fire at around 375 Ferenhite. It doesn’t take long for them both to reach these temperatures. Grease fires are very easy to start and can spread quickly. 

While careful cooking is the best way to prevent a grease fire, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid an accident. Other reasons why a kitchen grease fire might occur include:

  • A stovetop heats up too fast, and the oil gets too hot.
  • Frozen food can be thrown onto hot grease and cause it to smoke.
  • You are cooking a greasy meal that drips into the oven and ignites flames.
  • Your stove or oven has been left unattended for an extended period, or even a few seconds.

How common are grease fires?

The 2020 National Fire Protection Association report showed that cooking was the leading cause of home fires and injuries. Unattended equipment accounts for about 30% of home fires and more than 50% of all deaths.

How hot can a grease fire get?

Grease fires usually start when cooking oil’s smoke point is around 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit and can continue up to over 1,000 degrees.

How to extinguish a grease fire

Below are four tips to help you quickly contain a grease fire.

  1. Use a large lid to cover the fire.

    First, you need to put out the flames as fast as possible A large lid can be used to cover the fire To reduce the chance of burning, you can grip the lid with a damp towel. This step can also be done with a long, flat pan such as a baking sheet.

    It is dangerous to move the pan outside with flames. The pan will heat up quickly and get hotter each second. In addition, you may burn yourself by dropping the pan on the ground, or you could spread the fire around your house. So, avoid the temptation to take the pan outside.

  2. Turn off the burner

    Once the fire is under control, it is important to turn off the heat source. It’s easy to forget about the stove being on.

  3. Pour a large amount of baking soda onto small fires

    Baking soda is the best way to extinguish a fire Baking soda won’t work well with large fires, but it is very effective for smaller fires.

    Never use water to put out a grease fire. The cooking oil will splash when you add water. This can spread the flames to other parts of the kitchen. You could also burn yourself.

    Only use baking soda or salt to put out a grease fire. It is easy to mistake baking soda or salt for baking powder or flour, so avoid making this mistake.

How to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher

If baking soda doesn’t suffice if the fire becomes too difficult to control in this case, consider using a fire extinguisher. Each kitchen must have at least one. It could be located on the wall or in a cabinet.

Use an extinguisher of class B, BC, or ABC. Instead of spraying directly on the burning grease, which could cause the pan to tip over and spread the fire, begin at a distance and work your way closer.

Below are some fire extinguishers that are capable of putting out grease fires.

Why doesn’t water work on a grease fire?

Water will spray the cooking oil around the kitchen instead of trying to extinguish or smother a grease fire. This could cause severe burns and spread fire to other parts of your kitchen. To reduce flame spread.

How to prevent grease fires

It’s excellent to know how to put out a grease fire. However, prevention is the first step.

  • Don’t heed the adage about watching the kettle. One of the most common errors in the kitchen is not paying attention while food is being prepared. Never cook unsupervised.
  • When heating cooking oils, proceed with caution. Always heat fat or oil gradually to avoid combustion.
  • Add food cautiously to avoid pouring grease or oil onto an open flame or hot stove.
  • Clean the cooktop. Your small fire might quickly grow out of control if it is covered in spilled oil.

Check out this classic video on how to put out a kitchen fire called Putting out kitchen grease fires from the YouTube channel.

A video called Putting out kitchen grease fires from the YouTube channel.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about grease fires.

Can you use salt to extinguish a grease fire?

Yes, A grease fire can be put out using salt. It’s one of the greatest chemicals for putting out a grease fire and baking soda. However, burning a fire requires oxygen. Salt suffocates it, preventing it from gaining access to oxygen. Therefore, putting out the fire Larger fires may necessitate the use of a lot of salt.

Can you use baking soda to extinguish a grease fire?

Yes, Baking soda can be used to light a grease fire. However, baking soda is not as effective at lighting fires as salt. Therefore, it’s best to extinguish small fires.

Can you use baking powder to put out a grease fire?

No, baking powder is highly flammable and will not help you contain the fire. Use baking soda instead.

Can you use vinegar to extinguish a grease fire?

No, do not use vinegar. Vinegar can splash oil all over grease fires, just like water. This can lead to a fire hazard. Instead, use dry ingredients such as baking soda and salt; They deprive the fire’s oxygen.

Can you use flour to put out a grease fire?

No Flour should not be used on a grease-fired stove. Starch burns fast, and small grains of flour quickly combust. Instead, sprinkle it with salt or baking soda.

Can you use milk to light a fire in a grease fire?

No, Avoid pouring milk on a grease fire Oil can splash, which can cause severe burns and spread the fire. Instead, you can contain the oil better by using baking soda or salt to put out the fire. If this doesn’t work, you can use your fire extinguisher.

Conclusion

After reading the above post, do you still have any doubts about how to put out a grease fire? We have also shared some tips on preventing it from happening in the first place. But should anything happen and your kitchen is filled with smoke, there is no need to panic. All you need are a few safety steps and proper equipment. You can also call professionals if it gets beyond your control.

This article covered what a grease fire is, how it spreads, and how to extinguish it with and without a fire extinguisher. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • A grease fire is what happens when food or cooking oil ignites.
  • Unattended equipment accounts for about 30% of home fires and more than 50% of all deaths.
  • Grease fires usually start when cooking oil’s smoke point is around 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Never use water to put out a grease fire. The cooking oil will splash when you add water to it.

So, have you ever had a fire in your kitchen? Did I cover everything you wanted to know? And what do you think of my list? Let me know in the comments section below (I read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check my full blog for more home and kitchen tips and tricks. Thanks for reading, and stay safe.

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Author avatar - Roger Harris
Written By Roger Harris
Hey there! My name is Roger, and I've been selling range hoods for over six years. I now run this blog all about range hoods and kitchen ventilation! If you're looking for a new range hood for your kitchen, this is the place for you.

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