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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to Prevent Grease Fires

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

It’s common knowledge that “grease is the word”, but did you know that grease is also a common starter of kitchen fires? From the moment they begin to burn, grease fires can grow rapidly, so it is important to understand how to prevent them. By understanding what constitutes safe methods as well as dangerous methods when cooking with hot oil, you can best protect your home from the destructive effects of grease fires.

Safe Methods

Remove any combustible items from the cooking space before you begin cooking. Cookbooks and paper towels are among the combustible items that, if a grease fire were to ignite, could catch fire and potentially increase the size and severity of the grease fire. While cooking, monitor the cooking space as closely as possible, as grease fires most commonly break out when the cooking space is left unattended. If you intend on drinking any cocktails before the meal, be sure to save them until you have finished cooking. Cooking while under the influence can lead to misjudgment, which could result in dangerous cooking and the ignition of a grease fire. Even if you practice safe cooking habits, the risk of a grease fire starting is always present, so keep a metal lid and baking soda handy when cooking, as they could be used to smother the fire. Keep in mind, though, that you should only rely on baking soda when dealing with a small grease fire.

Dangerous Methods

Refrain from throwing or tossing food into hot oil, as doing so can cause the oil to splatter across the cooking surface and ignite a grease fire. Make sure to gently and carefully place the food into the hot oil instead to prevent the oil from splashing. It is also important if you’re cooking frozen food in oil to allow that food to thaw before cooking. In the event that a grease fire ignites while you’re cooking, abstain from throwing any type of liquid onto the flame. While it is a common reaction to throw water onto any other fire, throwing water or any other liquid onto a grease fire can instead cause the fire to grow.

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