Grease Fire: Tips and Prevention

Kitchen grease fire from unattended pan.No matter how prepared you may think you are, a fire in your home can happen at any time. Unfortunately this is one of those liabilities that comes with owning a home. Some of the most dangerous fires tend to start in the kitchen, and cooking is the number one cause of fires and fire-related injuries nationwide according to the National Fire Protection Association nationwide. They are often caused with the use of cooking oil and generally these fires tend to be more difficult to put out than other fires. Luckily, in the event that a grease fire happens in your home or business there are ways to contain them and put them out safely before the damage gets out of hand.

Grease Fire Prevention

Preventing a grease fire from starting in the first place is your number one line of defense. What many people do not know is that with just a few prevention tips you can drastically lower the probability of a grease fire occurring. Always remember that a clean cooking space is essential towards preventing a grease fire. If the cooking range you are using is greasy or dirty there is a higher chance that a fire can occur. Before and after each use the range should be scrubbed clean with the appropriate tools and chemicals. Food that is in the process of being cooked should never be left alone no matter the amount of time, closely monitoring your cooking helps stop fires before they start. Also while cooking be sure not to overuse the amount of oil necessary for the job. By using an excess in oil you’re essentially adding “fuel to the fire” and increasing your chances of getting burned.

The Do’s

Although the thought of a grease fire is something no business or homeowner wants to think about, you should be aware of the necessary steps to take in case of an emergency. Below are some instructions on how to safely and effectively put out a grease fire.

  • IMMEDIATELY turn off the heat to whatever caused the fire to break out.
  • If possible try to place a lid over the flame to safely smother it until the fire has finally burned out on its own.
  • Baking soda can be used to put out a grease fire. By pouring a large amount onto the affected area the baking soda can effectively neutralize a flame.
  • Fire extinguishers can also be used to neutralize a grease fire, however they can cause a mess so it is recommended to only use them on larger fires or during an emergency.
  • Lastly if the fire has become too powerful waste no time in calling the fire department so that there will be minimal damage done to the rest of your establishment. It is better to call for help than to risk losing your home or a loved one.

The Don’ts

Now that you are aware of what should be done during the event of a grease fire, let’s look at some of the things that should be avoided.

  • NEVER use water to extinguish a grease fire! The combination of oil and water could lead to the fire erupting rather than suffocating it.
  • Baking soda is the only type of product that should be used to put out a grease fire. Flour and other similar baking essentials will not do the same job as baking soda.
  • Although it may be instinct to want to air out your kitchen keep all windows and doors closed until the fire is fully smothered. Otherwise the fire could be fueled by the flow of incoming oxygen.
  • If the fire breaks out inside of an oven do not open the oven door. Keeping the door closed will keep the fire contained and will lead to the fire burning itself out.

We hope that you never have to deal with the repercussions that come with a grease fire, but staying prepared and knowing what should and should not be done in the event of a fire can drastically reduce damages. While knowing what to do is essential having the right coverage is also very important. If you’d like to learn about what we have to offer for both Homeowner’s Insurance and Business Owner’s Insurance, feel free to look around. Here at TJ Woods Insurance Agency our goal is to offer you the best policies available at an affordable rate. If you have any questions, contact us.