Did you know that kitchen fires are the leading cause in household fires?
One minute you’re frying up a pan of Grandma’s Famous Fried Chicken, the next you are searching for the Fire Extinguisher to douse a grease fire. After the fire is put out, you no longer have eyebrows, your kitchen is destroyed, your whole house is blanketed in smoke, and to top off the night—you’re eating fried chicken endorsed by a colonel in white outfit in a sketchy motel because the Fire Department deemed your house unsafe.
How can you avoid a Kitchen Fire?
-To start with, avoid cooking if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol. If you are a bit drowsy, set a timer or two to turn your stovetop or oven off or use a microwave and cook food for short intervals.
-Don’t leave the kitchen while you are cooking if you can avoid it. Especially when frying, broiling, grilling, or boiling food. It only take a few seconds for a great meal to catch fire.
-When cooking with oil, always stay in the kitchen. Heat cooking oils slowly and use cooking specific thermometers to gauge the temperature of the oil. Add ingredients slowly and carefully to the pan to avoid splatter. Keep a lid close to the pan whenever cooking with oil. Watch whatever you are cooking closely; if you see or smell smoke, immediately turn off the burner and/or remove the pot or pan from the heat source carefully. Smoke is a sign the oil is too hot and can ignite.
-Check food you are cooking regularly, ensure that it is not charring or the pot you are cooking with has cooked off all the liquid and is burning the pot or remaining ingredients.
-Be careful with clothing, oven mitts, kitchen towels, paper towels, trash or anything flammable near the stovetop or in the oven as paper and synthetic materials are extremely flammable.
– Fire Extinguishers are also a great tool and you should be kept in your kitchen, but can spread the grease all over your kitchen and make an unnecessary mess for small grease fires. Think of a Chemical Fire Extinguisher as your last resort because it can contaminate your entire kitchen.
– Before you reach for the red canister, try to smother a small grease fire by sliding a lid or cookie sheet over the pot or pan and turn off the heat source. Allow the pot or pan to cool completely before handling it again as the fire can restart or cause the handler serious burns. Alternatively, salt or baking soda can be used to smother grease fires as well, but only on small fires. Do not use flour or other cooking ingredients as they do not have the same effect as salt or baking soda.
*NEVER USE WATER TO EXTINGUISH A GREASE FIRE* Water can cause the grease to splatter and be an extreme danger to all those around and can be damaging to your home.
-If at any point you are not comfortable or able to safely contain the fire, evacuate your home and call the Fire Department at 911 when outside your home.