Grease fire can occur once the build-up of grease or oil on a stove, fryer or oven becomes hot enough to ignite. A grease fire is considered highly dangerous since the fuel source is liquid which readily splashes if you attempt to squelch water on it. This type of burn can become very hot and spread quickly to other flammable parts of the kitchen.
The key to prevent a fire in the kitchen is to stay put. Remember that unattended cooking is the main cause of cooking fires in houses. You have to stay by the stove and be prepared to handle the flames.
In case a fire starts and you cannot put it out right away, leave the area. Avoid sticking around in an attempt to extinguish the fire after everyone has left the area.
What to do for a grease fire
- Do not use water in an attempt to put out a grease fire. Your initial move is to evacuate everyone from the area. Remember that fires are capable of spreading rapidly and can becoming overwhelming in just minutes. If someone sustained burns from a grease fire, it should be treated only after evacuating the premises.
- Call for emergency assistance right away. Take note that there is no need to wait and the fire department can always return to the station if you are able to put out the grease fire without assistance.
- The simplest way to stifle a grease fire is to shield it with a pan lid. Just be careful when using glass lids since they can break from extreme heat of the open flame.
- Always bear in mind that grease fires can also be smothered using baking soda, but it usually requires a large amount for it to work. Unless the baking soda is readily accessible, it is usually easier to quickly find a lid.
- Using a dry chemical fire extinguisher can also work but it can contaminate the kitchen. The class K fire extinguishers are readily available to deal with kitchen and grease fires but they are typically found only in commercial kitchens.
Important considerations when dealing with a grease fire
Avoid using water when putting out a grease fire. If water is poured over burning oil or grease, it will not extinguish the fire. This will only cause the burning grease or oil to splash, thus spreading the grease fire around.
Do not attempt to carry the fire outdoors. Attempting to carry a pan or pot filled with burning oil will only spread the grease fire.