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How to Properly Put Out a Grease Fire
There are many causes to house fires and there are also many ways to take preventative measures. One common cause for house fires comes from your kitchen – grease fires. Grease fires occur in your home when the materials you are using to cook with – mainly oil or grease – become too hot. When oil increases in temperate it first starts smoking, then begins to ignite. In order to prevent this from happening, you should take a few safety measures. The easiest thing to remember when you are cooking is stay in the kitchen. When you are physically present in the room, you can take the steps necessary to stop a fire before it begins or take the measures to put a fire out. When using large amounts of oil or grease it is important to use a heavy pot, with a metal lid, and monitor the pot’s temperature regularly. Using a clip-on temperature gauge is one good idea. Physically monitor the oil as it is being used – if you see smoke or smell something burning, do not hesitate to turn down the heat or remove the oil from heat immediately. Oil and grease do not ignite immediately after smoking, but it is a very good indicator that the oil is becoming too hot to cook with!
If your preventative measures have fallen through and there is a grease fire in your kitchen, there are several things you can do to put the fire out without resorting to calling professionals like the Fire Department. Bear in mind that if you do not deal with your grease fire right away, you run the risk of severe fire damage in your home. You should immediately turn off the heat – do not try to move the pot, as you might spill burning oil on yourself or other flammable surfaces in your kitchen. Try to place the lid back on the pot. Make sure the lid is metal or other non-flammable material. Do not use glass, as there is a chance that a glass lid may crack or shatter. Placing the lid on the pot helps put out the grease fire because it denies the fire oxygen, which it needs to continue burning. If it is a small fire, you can use baking soda, but keep in mind that the quantity of baking soda necessary to properly smother a fire is quite a lot, so this only works well when the fire is a small one. If there is nothing else you can try, attempt to use a Class B Dry Chemical Fire extinguisher. This is the last step in attempting to put out a grease fire, as the extinguisher’s chemicals will contaminate your kitchen and necessitate severe cleaning. If your grease fire is getting out of hand, do not hesitate to use a fire extinguisher. If the fire is getting out of control, make sure you call the Fire Department immediately.
What you should not do is simple. Do not use water to attempt to put out a grease fire. This is counterintuitive, but there are good reasons for it. Do not use water to put out a grease fire. Water can cause oil to splash and ignite the surfaces around the flaming pot. In addition, water can mix with the flaming grease and spread the fire with it as it spreads. You should likewise not attempt to move the pot or carry it outside, even though common sense seems like this should work. A grease fire in a pot means that carrying the pot might cause it to splash and ignite other areas of your home. Do not use anything besides baking soda on a grease fire. Items like flour seem like they may help, but in reality you are only providing the fire with additional fuel.
If your grease fire gets out of control and spreads to the general kitchen area or other parts of your home, make sure that you call the Fire Department right away. If this is necessary, do not enter your home until the Fire Department allows you to – this is for your own safety. In the aftermath of a grease fire, you may need to call an insurance appraiser to check the damage, if it is severe enough, or if you need a professional fire restoration company to clean and restore the areas that are fire damaged. The remains of a house fire can be hazardous and it is important to contact professionals to deal with damage from smoke and fire if you are unsure or unable to deal with the damage yourself.
If you have fire damage, call Restoration Local 24/7 at 1-888-443-3110 for a free estimate!