5 Steps to Putting Out a Kitchen Grease Fire
Over 160,000 home fires happen while people are cooking and, unfortunately, cooking is the leading cause of home fires. About two-thirds of those fires began when food and other cooking materials caught on fire. If you know how to respond to a kitchen fire, and specifically a grease fire, you'll be prepared to minimize damages when an emergency happens. Quick action could reduce the need for fire cleanup and the cost of hiring restoration professionals.
1. Prevent fires by removing flammable items from the area.
Towels, flowing sleeves, curtains, and ingredients that could catch on fire should be moved away from the stove. Clean out burners, so that crumbs and caked-on grease can't burst into flames while you're cooking.
2. Stay with your food.
Too many home chefs get food cooking and then walk into the other room while they wait for pots to boil or pans to heat up. If something in the kitchen does catch on fire, you should be there to quickly respond.
3. Cut off the fire's fuel supply.
One of the quickest ways to put out a cooking fire is to cover the flames with a cookie sheet or a large metal lid. DO NOT POUR WATER ON THE FIRE. Turn off the heat source.
4. Put out the flames with appropriate materials.
Throwing water or baking powder on a grease fire could cause heavy damage and serious injuries. Be very careful to use baking soda or even a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher to put out kitchen fires if the flames haven't died down. Never use water to put out a grease fire because it will cause the grease to splatter, hitting people and flammable items throughout your kitchen.
5. Contact the fire department from outside the home.
If you haven't been able to put out the fire at this point, it's best to evacuate the home. Once the fire is out of control, you only have a couple of minutes to get everyone out of the house and to safety. Use a cellphone or the neighbor's phone to contact the Timonium,MD, fire department.